March 5, 2005
Greensboro, N.C. – Florida State battled back from 10 down with 4:47 left in regulation to force its fifth overtime game of the season on Saturday, but this time, the No. 4 seed Seminoles fell just short, 71-67, to No. 5 seed Virginia in the quarterfinals of the 2005 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships at Greensboro Coliseum. Senior Roneeka Hodges scored a game-high 26 points and Alicia Gladden had 20 points and a career-high 14 rebounds to lead the Seminoles. FSU, now 23-7 on the season, will now await its bid to the NCAA Tournament. Selection Sunday is March 13th.
“I thought Virginia came out with a lot of fight and did a nice job,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “Obviously, we’re disappointed but my team has had a ton of fight all year and you saw it again here this afternoon. I wouldn’t go to battle with anybody else. Alicia Gladden, her double-double, Roneeka Hodges coming out and scoring 26. They do this night in and night out with an undersized team that isn’t very deep. I’m just extremely proud of them. It was a tough one to lose in overtime. You can’t get much closer than that.”
Florida State led much of the first half and 36-31 at halftime but shot 19 percent in the second half and scored just six points in the first 10 minutes. Virginia forced a third tie in the second half at 42-42 and then outscored the Tribe 12-2 to pull ahead by 10 points. Hodges brought the Seminoles back, scoring eight of FSU’s next 13 points in the final four minutes of regulation.. Ganiyat Adeduntan hit a three-pointer with 58 seconds left to pull FSU within two and a missed lay up by UVA’s Sharnee Zolle gave FSU the ball. Hodges was fouled driving the lane with 16.2 seconds. She went to the line, hitting both to tie the game at 56-56 and send the game into overtime.
“The way that we’ve given ourselves a chance to win day in and day out is defense and rebounding,” Semrau said. “I’m proud of a team that outrebounded a team that outrebounded us the first time we played. Even though we shot 19 percent in the second half, we gave ourselves a chance to win and I think that shows a lot of character.”
Both teams were scoreless through the first 1:51 of the extra period when Gladden was fouled on a lay up and converted a three-point play. After a Cavalier basket, senior captain Linnea Liljestrand, who was held scoreless through regulation, drew a foul and went to the line hitting both to put FSU’s lead again at three at 61-58. UVA scored seven unanswered as the Seminoles did not get the shots they wanted down the stretch. Adeduntan pulled the Tribe within a point with another three-pointer, but the Seminoles had to foul and Zoll went 6-for-6 from the charity stripe in the final 35 seconds.
Adeduntan finished the game with 13 points and eight rebounds. The Seminoles shot 33 percent from the field for the game but went 15-for-17 from the free throw line (88 percent) outrebounded the Cavaliers, 45-38.