Nov. 21, 2000
GAINESVILLE, Fla. –
Despite being within six points with under three minutes to play, the Florida State women’s basketball team fell to 1-1 on the young season with a 79-65 loss to Florida at the O’Connell Center Tuesday night. UF improves to 2-0 on the year. Senior Brooke Wyckoff led Florida State with 23 points.
“I’d like to compliment Florida,” FSU Head Coach Sue Semrau said. “I know they’ve had some injuries and some setbacks and I thought they came out with an exceptional backcourt and were very impressive in rebounding. Our team was really out of sync offensively and defensively, I thought we fouled far too much. It wasn’t the team that I have seen since August.” So we have to head back to Tallahassee and put it back together for our tournament this weekend.
The first half was a battle at both ends of the court and the Lady Gators took a 40-34 lead at the halftime break. UF’s first three baskets were three pointers but the Seminoles answered and kept the game close. With the score 9-8 in Florida’s favor, Florida State hit a drought and didn’t score for 3:20 and allowed the Lady Gators to score six unanswered points. Wyckoff ended the drought with a three-pointer of her own to pull FSU within 15-11. The game was very physical and the Lady Gators were quickly in the bonus as the Seminoles committed their seventh foul at the 12:44 mark. Florida built its largest lead of 10 points at 23-13 at the 7:22 mark and held FSU to just one bucket for more than five minutes. But solid defense brought the Seminoles back. April Traylor hit a three-pointer and Wyckoff followed with a 10-foot jumper to pull FSU within five at 23-18. Shinikki Whiting pulled FSU to within four at 27-23 with a three-pointer. She scored nine of FSU’s final 14 points of the first half. While the fouls for both teams were close, the free throw attempts were not. UF was 10-for-14 from the charity stripe, while the Tribe attempted just five and hit three of them. Wyckoff led the team with 13 first half points. Florida’s Brandi McCain paced the Lady Gators with 19 points. UF had the rebounding advantage 20-12 but also had 16 turnovers while the Seminoles committed 12 of their own.
Florida came out running in the second half and outscored FSU 10-2 in the first three minutes, seven of which were McCain points, to take its largest lead at 14 points. Traylor responded with another three and the Tribe pulled to within nine at 52-43 off of two Levy Torres free throws with 12:47 remaining. FSU fell behind again by 14 but eight straight points, including three pointers by Wyckoff and Traylor, brought the UF lead to just six at 57-51 with just eight minutes to play. But the seesaw continued and it was Florida’s turn. The Lady Gators scored the game’s next eight points to match their largest lead of 14 for the third time in the half. The Seminoles could not be kept down and Traylor made sure of it with two more treys and a Vujas jumper put the Noles right back into it at 68-62 with 2:43 left. But the Tribe was held to just three points the rest of the game and committed six fouls. Seven of Florida’s final 11 points were off of free throws.
“The thing I love about this team and coaching at Florida State is that I have players who fight,” Semrau said. “When we got down, April Traylor, who is one of the most fiercest competitors I’ve ever coached, and Brooke Wyckoff, who is another fierce competitor, continued to fight. If we could have gotten some defensive stops, things may have gone differently, but we couldn’t get the rebound and it didn’t happen for us.”
Traylor hit a career-high five three-pointers and had 17 points and led the team with five rebounds. Florida was led by McCain’s 30 points and Tombi Bell added 17 and five assists.
FSU will host Michigan State, Virginia Tech and Chicago State in the fourth-annual Seminole Classic on November 25-26 at the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center. The Seminoles will play Chicago State in the first round at 4 p.m., on Saturday.