Dec. 29, 2004
MISSOULA, Mt. – For the first time this season, Florida State’s height disadvantage caught up with it, as Montana outrebounded the Seminoles 39-27 and 6-foot-4 center Hollie Tyler recorded 27 points in a 60-49 Montana victory during the championship game of the 2004 Lady Griz Holiday Classic at Dahlberg Arena Wednesday night.
Florida State (12-1) watched its perfect season and best start in school history come to an end as the Lady Grizzlies (6-4) snapped a 12-game winning streak for the Seminoles.
“Hollie Tyler was obviously the biggest post player we’ve faced all year,” said head coach Sue Semrau. “With our quickest we could have done a better job if we applied good ball pressure, but they did a tremendous job of getting her the ball and she was so efficient when she did get it. There is no excuse for our rebounding tonight so that is something we’ll definitely address. We didn’t deserve to win.”
Senior Linnea Liljestrand paced the FSU offense with 12 points and senior Roneeka Hodges and Ganiyat Adeduntan added 11 points apiece, respectively. Sophomore Alicia Gladden tallied a career-high-tying six steals.
The Seminoles shot 33.3 percent in the game, while the Lady Grizzlies’ tallied a 42.6 clip. Montana managed 17 offensive rebounds and outscored FSU 32-12 in the paint.
“Getting that first loss refocuses us,” said Semrau. “We have maybe gotten away from things and I think this is an opportunity for us to really emphasize how big the little things are. We are not going to win games on the offensive end of the floor…we need to allow teams to only get one shot.”
Montana, a team that has won over 90 percent of its home games all-time, captured its 22-of-25 Lady Griz Holiday Classic tournament titles in front of a boisterous crowd of over 3,800 fans. Adeduntan and Gladden earned all-tournament honors for the Seminoles.
It was a see-saw battle until the very end that saw the game tie up or change leaders eight times in the final period. The Seminoles owned a three point advantage, 49-46, with 7:34 remaining on the clock, but from there on out FSU was held scoreless and Montana answered with 11 straight points and claimed the victory.
FSU will close out the year 2004 with a 2 p.m. tilt with Colgate, December 31st at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center.