Feb. 17, 2005
RALEIGH, N.C. – The Seminoles may have scored first, but No. 21 NC State (19-5, 8-3) gained control of the game early and handed No. 25 Florida State a 71-43 loss at Reynolds Coliseum Thursday night. Roneeka Hodges led FSU (21-6, 7-5) with 13 points while LaQuinta Neely added 10 points off of the bench. Ganiyat Adeduntan grabbed double-digit rebounds for the third straight game with 10 boards.
The 43 points was the fewest points the Seminoles have scored in a game since 2002. The aggressive Wolfpack outrebounded FSU 39-33.
“We’ve said all year long that we felt NC State was the best defensive team in our conference,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “What they’ve done is go through a bit of adversity themselves and faced it and really drawn together. I thought their defense generated their offense. Their confidence came from the defensive end of the floor. That’s who we’ve been and our fight wasn’t there. A lot of people are saying the same things about these two teams. They’re undersized. They’ve been faced with adversity. They’ve pulled together. I just thought NC State fought a lot harder than we did tonight. It’s just disappointing for us. I haven’t seen this team.”
Florida State trailed nine at the half and NC State started things off in the second with a three-pointer. Despite good looks, the Tribe couldn’t get anything to fall early on and managed just two points in the first six minutes of the second half. The Wolfpack, in the meantime, took advantage and 16 points during that stretch and had a 23 point lead with 14:06 remaining. The Seminoles never recovered.
“You could see with our first three shots,” Semrau said of the second half drought. “They were in the hoop and out. That was the start of it. If our identity is ever on whether we shoot the ball well, then that’s where we’re not very good. I thought our mental effort from that point on, we felt sorry for ourselves instead of coming back and fighting. Again, that’s just not our team.”
Florida State shot a dismal 33 percent in the first half and found themselves down 33-24 at the break.
Adeduntan hit the first bucket of the game at the 17:04 mark but then NC State went on a 10-0 run. The Wolfpack would never lead by more than 11 points in the first half, but the Seminoles could not get any consistency offensively and could never get any closer than seven points.
Freshman Khadija Whittington led NC State with 16 points and 13 rebounds in 33 minutes of play off of the bench. The Wolfpack are now 9-2 at home this season and are a perfect 8-0 on Thursday nights.
The Seminoles will host Virginia Tech Saturday, February 19th at 7 p.m. in the final regular-season home game. The Seminole seniors will be honored in a ceremony at 6:50 p.m.
“This is what it’s like to play on the road in the ACC and we’ve had our share of road games,” Semrau said. “Three straight road games in North Carolina and that’s been in the last two weeks. We’re anxious to get home. We’ve got a quick turnaround. Sometimes, you just have to throw a game out and this will be the one we throw out. I think it would have been no shame to lose to NC State. I think they are a tremendous team. To lose in the fashion we did, that’s what disappointing to me.”