January 23, 2005 - by
Seminoles Head To Blacksburg For Monday Night Showdown With Virginia Tech

Jan. 23, 2005

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The No. 24 ranked Florida State women’s basketball team will renew its rivalry with new ACC member Virginia Tech when the Seminoles play the 23rd-ranked Hokies Monday, Jan. 24th at 7 p.m. in Blacksburg, Va. Both FSU and Virginia Tech were former members of the Metro Conference. The game will be televised regionally and viewers in north and central Florida can watch the contest on Sun Sports Network. (formerly Sunshine Network).

The Seminoles will enter the game in second place in the ACC with a 4-1 league mark and a 17-2 record overall. The Hokies are 2-2 in ACC play and 12-4 overall. Virginia Tech is led by senior center Erin Gibson’s 12.1 points while junior forward Kerri Gardin averages 9.6 points and a team-high 6.7 rebounds. As a team, the Hokies are averaging 74.1 points per game and much like the Seminoles (45 percent), are shooting well from the field at 44.4 percent.

“When I look at Virginia Tech on tape, I think, `Wow, they’re a team,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “They’re a group of people who use their strengths. They have a very good point guard and center and there are not a lot of programs that can boast that, but they are their two best most solid kids. They’re going to present a very different problem than Carolina.”

Monday’s game will be the 19th meeting between Florida State and Virginia Tech but the first since 2000-01 when the Seminoles defeated the Hokies 77-57 on Nov. 26, 2000 in Tallahassee. FSU has an 11-8 advantage and has actually won the last six meetings with Virginia Tech. The series began back in the 1979-80 season. The Seminoles won that first meeting by a score of 67-57 but the Hokies responded with a 77-54 win later that season.

The Virginia Tech game is the first of two straight road ACC games for the Seminoles. In fact, the Tribe will play seven of its final 10 regular-season games on the road, including a non-conference tilt at Lipscomb on Feb. 3rd.

“Obviously, going on the road in the ACC, you have to limit the distractions and it’s a great environment from what I understand,” Semrau said. “I have never coached up there but from what I understand, it’s really special. We’ve tried to prepare for that with going to Montana, Florida and doing some things out of conference which will hopefully prepare us well for this trip.”

The Seminoles have enjoyed its home court advantage (10-1) but have obviously fared well on the road this season with a 7-1 record away from Tallahassee, including a 3-1 mark on opponent’s home courts. In ACC action last year, FSU went 3-5 on the road. Overall, FSU is 65-148 in ACC play and 26-79 in ACC road games. With the win at Clemson, the Seminoles are 5-9 in their first ACC road game of the season. Although the Seminoles are coming off a big win with its 79-73 overtime victory over No. 6 North Carolina, Semrau doesn’t expect a letdown from her team.

“I don’t expect a letdown at all because I felt like we had a big game against Maryland,” Semrau said. “Our kids are really locked in on the next game. We don’t really feel like we need to refocus with the last 10 games coming up as much as stay focused and get better. This is a time of year, from January 15th to February 15th where a lot of teams lose momentum and we want to be a team that gains momentum. It’s a difficult time because the end isn’t really in sight, the tournaments aren’t really in sight, but the whole preseason has taken place. It’s a little bit like running free throw line to free throw line. The teams that are good at that in transition, they excel. The same thing is true here. This is going to be a critical stretch for us.”

The game can also be heard on WFLA AM 1270 in the Tallahassee area and by accessing www.seminoles.com.

No. 24 SEMINOLES (17-2, 4-1 ACC)
at No. 23 Virginia Tech (12-4, 2-2 ACC)
January 24, 2005 • Cassell Coliseum • 7:00 p.m.
Sun Sports/Regional Sports Network • Mike Hogewood, Debbie Antonelli
WFLA -AM 1270 • seminoles.com – Ryan Pensy, Jamie Hovda


FLORIDA STATE

2004-05 Record 17-2, 4-1 ACC
2003-04 Final Record 15-15
Head Coach Sue Semrau/8th Season
School Record 109-112
Career Record Same
Starters Returning/Lost 2*/3
Conference Atlantic Coast
*Neely was a starter in 2003-04 before injuring knee


VIRGINIA TECH
2004-05 Record 12-4, 2-2 ACC
2003-04 Final Record 23-8
Head Coach Beth Dunkenberger/1st Season
School Record 12-4
Career Record 77-54/5th Year
Starters Returning/Lost 4/1
Conference Atlantic Coast



THE STORY LINE
• GENERALLY-SPEAKING…
The Seminoles have won four straight ACC games, including back-to-back overtime victories over ranked foes with their wins over #15 Maryland and #6 North Carolina. FSU’s only blemish on its 4-1 ACC record is a one-point loss to Georgia Tech in the ACC opener. FSU broke into the national rankings on January 18th with a No. 24 mark in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll – the Tribe’s first national ranking since December 10, 2001. The new Associated Press poll comes out January 24th. FSU was 27th in the last AP poll. The last time FSU was ranked in the AP poll was February 11, 1991.


• THE SERIES… Monday’s game will be the 19th meeting between Florida State and Virginia Tech but the first since 2000-01 when the Seminoles defeated the Hokies 77-57 on Nov. 26, 2000 in Tallahassee. FSU has an 11-8 advantage and has actually won the last six meetings with Virginia Tech. The series began back in the 1979-80 season. The Seminoles won that first meeting by a score of 67-57 but the Hokies responded with a 77-54 win later that season. Florida State and Virginia Tech have been in the same conference before as former members of the Metro Conference.


NATIONALLY-RANKED
Florida State made its way into the national rankings as the Seminoles were pegged the nation’s No. 24 team in the January 18th USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll. It’s the first time FSU has been ranked since the December 10, 2001 Coaches Poll when the Seminoles were No. 25. The last time FSU was ranked No. 24 in the nation was on January 18, 1993. FSU has not been ranked in the Associated Press poll since the 1991 season.


CAREER GAME FOR ADEDUNTAN
Junior guard/forward Ganiyat Adeduntan had the game of her career in the win over No. 6 North Carolina. She scored a career-high 26 points on 63 percent shooting from the field and added a team-high nine rebounds. She also led the team with a career-high five assists. Adeduntan went 10-for-16 (.625) from the field and 3-for-4 (.750) from both the three-point and free throw lines and had no turnovers in 37 minutes of play. Since scoring just a point in the Miami game after concentrating on stopping UM’s Tamara James, she has averaged 16.0 points and 6.7 rebounds per game over the last three contests.


JOHNSON IS PLAYING … A LOT
While Roneeka Hodges and Ganiyat Adeduntan have gotten attention with big offensive games in the Tribe’s last two wins, Holly Johnson is taking a back seat, exposure-wise, but not effective-wise. The junior played all but two minutes in the OT win over Maryland and all but four minutes in the UNC game and her contributions have been numerous. In the last two games, Johnson has averaged 12.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists in a team-high 42 minutes of play. Perhaps, most importantly from a point guard perspective, she has committed just two turnovers in 84 minutes of play! Overall, Johnson has played 40 or more minutes in three games this year.


DOUBLE DIGITS FOUR FOLD
In each of the last two wins, Florida State has enjoyed balanced scoring. While Roneeka Hodges (39) and Ganiyat Adeduntan (26) each recorded career-highs in successive games, four Seminoles in all have tallied double-digits in each of the last two games. In fact, in FSU’s four ACC wins, three or more players have recorded double figures in each game. In the Tribe’s one ACC loss, only two players reached double figures for FSU.


TWO OT GAMES IN ONE SEASON
Until this season, FSU had not had two overtime games in a single season since 1991-92 when the Tribe had three OT games and went 2-1. This season marks just the fifth time FSU has had two or more overtime games in a single season but the first time ever the Tribe has had back-to-back overtime contests. Overall, FSU is now 16-9 in overtime games.


FSU IN OVERTIME PERIODS
The Seminoles have come up big in each of the overtime periods they’ve played this year. Combined, FSU has shot .714 (10-14) from the field, .750 (3-4) from three-point range and .643 (9-14) from the free throw line in the overtime periods.


FEW BUT BIG
Hannah Linquist’s 11 minutes of play in the UNC win may have been few, but still very big. Linquist had four points and two rebounds during that time and really gave some help inside with UNC’s Erlana Larkins. It was the 10th time this season Linquist had played double digit minutes but the first time since the Colgate game and the first time in ACC play this season.


AT OUR PACE
UNC scored just 73 points against the Seminoles – well below the 81.7 points per game the Heels were averaging prior to playing FSU. In fact, the 73 points is the fewest points the Tar Heels have scored in four ACC games this year and the third fewest overall as they have scored 71 points in two other games and 63 points in one game this season. One of FSU’s goals is to hold opponents to under 60 points this season and had the game ended in regulation, the Tribe would have been close as the game was knotted at 64 apiece when time expired.


SEASON-HIGH
The Seminoles attempted a season-high 23 three-pointers in the UNC game and made eight of them. In fact, in the last two games, FSU has averaged 8.0 made three-pointers on 19.0 attempts per game. In ACC play overall, FSU is making 6.0 three-pointers a game on 17.2 attempts.


CHARITY STRIPE
After attempting a season-low five free throws in the Georgia Tech loss, the Seminoles have found a way to get to the free throw line in their last four ACC contests and are averaging 25.5 trips o the charity stripe per game. Overall, FSU has attempted more free throws than its opponent in 14 games.


TIED FOR THE FIRST TIME
FSU and UNC were tied at 37 apiece in Thursday’s game, marking the first time the Tribe has been tied at halftime with its opponent this season. In the previous 18 games, FSU has led at hafltime in 12 contests and is 12-0 in those games.

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