Jan. 9, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State women’s basketball team will host Clemson on Sunday at 3 p.m. in the team’s Atlantic Coast Conference home opener.
The Seminoles (13-4, 1-0 ACC) are coming off a 67-63 win over Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. that officially kicked off league play for both squads.
FSU currently boasts a three-game winning streak in ACC home openers as the team has defeated Virginia, Miami and Virginia Tech over the past three seasons. The Seminoles are 6-5 during head coach Sue Semrau’s tenure in these types of games.
Semrau EIGHT WINS AWAY FROM no. 200
In her 12th season as head coach of the Florida State women’s basketball program, Sue Semrau will always remember the win that put her within single digits of 200 career victories. That’s because career win No. 191 occurred against third-ranked Texas A&M and will go down as one of the greatest comebacks in Seminole history. She then followed that up by achieving her 192nd career win with a victory at Virginia Tech. Semrau is used to making magic happen at FSU as she became the program’s winningest coach in her ninth season on Feb. 19, 2006 when the Seminoles defeated Clemson 80-72 in overtime. She has guided the Seminoles to double-digit victories in nine-straight seasons and to four-straight NCAA Tournaments and five overall.
FSU VS. CLEMSON
Florida State’s Atlantic Coast Conference home opener against Clemson will mark the 37th meeting all-time between the two conference foes. The Tigers have had FSU’s number through the years with a 24-12 series advantage but the Seminoles have won 11 of the last 12 meetings and were riding an 11-game winning streak before the Tigers earned a buzzer-beating victory 72-70 last season. Prior to FSU’s run of 11-straight games, the Tigers had won 21-straight ballgames against the Seminoles. Florida State is 6-11 on the road against Clemson and is also 6-11 at home.
Scouting THE TIGERS
FSU……………………………. PER GAME…………………………….. CU
70.5……………………………….. POINTS…………………………….. 68.9
.429 ………………………………… FG%……………………………….. .423
.361……………………………….. 3 FG%……………………………… .321
.665…………………………………. FT%……………………………….. .703
42.5……………………………. REBOUNDS…………………………… 38.3
13.4………………………………. ASSISTS…………………………….. 15.1
19.7…………………………… TURNOVERS………………………….. 16.9
8.4…………………………………. STEALS……………………………… 10.2
4.6………………………………… BLOCKS………………………………. 5.0
AGAINST CLEMSON LAST YEAR
Florida State and Clemson met twice last season and the two programs split the two meetings. FSU won the first matchup between the two as the Seminoles earned a lopsided 63-39 victory in Clemson, S.C., thanks to a team-high 14 points by Tanae Davis-Cain and a stingy defense on Jan. 20, 2008. Only Lele Hardy managed double figures for the Tigers in that game with 10 points. The Tigers then got revenge on the first day of March of last year. Morganne Campbell’s tip-in as the game clock expired gave Clemson a buzzer-beating 72-70 win at the Donald L. Tucker Center. In that game, Mara Freshour led all players with 23 points, Shante Williams had 22 while Alysha Harvin added 13. Three were in double figures for Clemson, led by Hardy’s 20 points.
SEMINOLES IN ACC HOME OPENERS
In the Sue Semrau era, Florida State is 6-5 in Atlantic Coast Conference home openers. The Seminoles are currently on a three-game winning streak in these types of games after beating Virginia, Miami and Virginia Tech at home in successive seasons.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Records show that in the history of the program, Florida State has played in seven games on January 11 and the Seminoles are 4-3 in those games dating back to the 1981-82 season. FSU won four-straight on this date but has lost the past three – including a 70-38 defeat at the hands of Duke a year ago.
SEASON TICKET SALES UP 63 PERCENT
Make no mistake about it, college basketball at Florida State University is getting more and more popular each season. The FSU marketing office reports that with a school-record 1,819 women’s basketball season tickets sales for the 2008-09 season, the Seminoles have now sold 63 percent more seats than they did a season ago. The previous high number for season tickets was 1,119 during the 2006-07 season. FSU’s average attendance this season is 2,013 which ranks fifth in the ACC.
DRUM LINE TO ADD FLARE TO FSU PLAYER INTROS
Sunday’s game against Clemson will mark the first time all season long that a drum line named Line 150 will perform during Florida State’s very exciting player introductions. Line 150 exists to foster the well-being of young at-risk men in Tallahassee by sharing the gospel in word and deed, establishing healthy mentoring relationships, and encouraging excellence in education. Created in June 2007, Line 150 has seen tremendous growth both in numbers and performance opportunities. The group has played for FSU’s Delta Sigma Theta sorority, the Boys and Girls Club of the Big Bend, Big Bend Cares World AIDS Day, FAMU’s Homecoming parade, Railroad Square’s Fall Fever, Youth Explosion at Jefferson High School, Do it Big at Leon High School, Downtown Getdown, and now for the Florida State women’s basketball team.
FSU WITH SEMRAU NOW EVEN IN ACC OPENERS
Under head coach Sue Semrau, the FSU women’s basketball team is now 6-6 in Atlantic Coast Conference openers after defeating Virginia Tech by a score of 67-63 Thursday night. The Seminoles are currently riding a three-game winning streak in conference openers after defeating Virginia Tech two years in a row and defeating Boston College during the 2006-07 season to kick off league-play.
67-63 AND 67-63
If the outcome of Florida State’s game against Virginia Tech seemed a bit familiar, that’s because it certainly was. This year FSU opened its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule with a 67-63 against Virginia Tech and the Seminoles did the exact same thing a season when they beat the Hokies by the exact same score in the conference opener. The only difference between this season and last was that the Seminoles beat Virginia Tech at home a year ago and had to travel to Blacksburg this season.
BRAVARD IMPRESSES IN FIRST-EVER ACC GAME
True freshman Cierra Bravard hasn’t played like a first-year player most of the season and that proved to be true against Virginia Tech. Thursday’s victory over the Hokies marked Bravard’s first-career game against an Atlantic Coast Conference team and if she was nervous, the Sandusky, Ohio native didn’t show it. Bravard led all Seminoles with a team-high 14 points and became FSU’s go-to player down the stretch when points mattered most. The Hokies had no answer inside for the 6-foot-4 post-player on both ends of the court as she also blocked a career-high three shots in the win.
CRACKING THE STARTING LINE UP
Alysha Harvin’s aggressiveness has landed the junior a spot in the starting five the past three games. Harvin, who is averaging 7.3 points per game, has improved those numbers to 9.7 points per game over the past six contests.
WARD BACK AT THE POINT
Sophomore Courtney Ward broke back into the starting lineup in the UCF game after coming off the bench in seven straight games and has been stellar in all facets of her game. Ward is coming off a 12-point, seven-assist performance in the Virginia Tech game. In three straight starts, she has averaged 9.7 points and 5.7 assists per game and is averaging 11.0 ppg over the last five games — almost doubling her season average of 6.4 ppg. She is also averaging a team-high 4.1 assists per game.
Seminoles STILL undefeated on the road
Despite a 2-3 record away from home while playing in in-season tournament games, the Seminoles are a perfect 4-0 on the road this season in their opponents’ home gym after defeating Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. The Seminoles have also had road wins at North Florida, Temple and LSU.
A GAME OF RUNS
Thursday’s contest between Florida State and Virginia Tech was a game of runs for both squads. The Seminoles used a 20-11 run through the first 13 minutes of the second half to build a 56-38 lead on Virginia Tech. But just as they had done in the first half in a similar situation, the Hokies were able to come up with an answer as they generated a 14-2 run to cut the gap to just 58-52 with just over four minutes left in the ballgame. After Freshour drilled a 3-pointer to put FSU on top 61-52 with 3:07 left, the pesky Hokies still wouldn’t go away as they scored eight of the game’s next 10 points to put the score at 63-60 in favor of the Seminoles. Florida State had built an early 26-9 advantage to start the game but the Hokies closed out the first half on an 18-10 run.
GETTING TO THE LINE
There was nothing “free” about the Virginia Tech win because the Seminoles got to the free throw line just 13 times in the contest – a season-low. FSU averages 23.4 free throws per game while opponents are averaging 18.2 per game but the Hokies got to the line 28 times.
BIGGER, FASTER, STRONGER
• Florida State is using its size to its advantage this season and the Seminoles have outrebounded all but three opponents so far, including a +6 advantage over Virginia Tech.
• The Seminoles have speed but need to take care of the basketball better. FSU tied its season-high with 26 turnovers in the Virginia Tech win. FSU also had 26 TO’s vs. North Florida, a win, and Washington, a loss. The Seminoles are averaging 19.7 turnovers a game.
• The Seminoles recorded a season-high 10 blocks in the Virginia Tech win which is the most blocks by an FSU team since the Seminoles had 10 blocks vs. Miami on January 7th, 2007. Nine blocks at Texas A&M was the season-best last year.
Sticking with the starting five that works
Head coach Sue Semrau unveiled a new starting lineup against UCF and after that victory the same five have gotten the nod in the last two games… both victories. FSU’s five starters for the past three games have been: point guard Courtney Ward, guards Tanae Davis-Cain and Mara Freshour, and forwards Alysha Harvin and Jacinta Monroe.
ON FIRE FROM 3-POINT RANGE IN FIRST HALF
One game after making just two 3-pointers in the upset of Texas A&M, the Seminoles came out firing from long range against Virginia Tech. The Seminoles nailed six triples in the first half against the Hokies – the highest output of 3s for a half all season long. FSU cooled off a bit in the second half as they made just one but still finished the game shooting 46.7-percent from 3-point land. The Seminoles’ season-high for 3-pointers in a game is the nine that made in the loss to No. 1-ranked UConn.
Junior forward Jacinta Monroe has led the Seminoles in blocked shots over the past two seasons and has steadily climbed the ranks as one of the greatest shot blockers in program history. With a game-high three blocks in the upset victory over Texas A&M and a game-high four rejections against Virginia Tech, Monroe has a team-high 38 swats this season. Monroe now has 179 career blocked shots and is just 30 shy of Brooke Wyckoff’s all-time record of 209 she set from 1997-2001. Monroe is averaging 2.2 blocks per game this season and if she stays on this pace will have 213 career blocked shots after the first game of the ACC Tournament. She will likely, however, better that pace as she has already recorded three or more blocks in five games this season including a season-high six against Mercer.
SEMINOLES ARE PERFECT WHEN LEADING AT THE HALF
After leading 36-27 at halftime against Virginia Tech and then earning the victory, FSU is a perfect 12-0 in games this year when leading after the game’s first 20 minutes.
DAVIS-CAIN REACHES 1,000, Freshour gets to 900
Senior guard Tanae Davis-Cain already made a little bit of history this season by officially becoming FSU’s career leader in 3-pointers made and against UCF she became the 22nd player in Seminoles history to score at least 1,000 points in a career. With 12 points against Virginia Tech, the Dawson, Ga., native now has 1,026 points in her stellar career. Senior guard Mara Freshour also has the opportunity to leave her name in the 3-pointer record books as she moved into sole position of second place on the all-time 3-pointers made list with one against LSU. She currently has 136 career triples while Davis-Cain currently has 155 after making two against the Hokies. In addition to moving up the career list for 3-pointers, Freshour also could reach the 1,000-point mark in this, her final season at FSU. Against Virginia Tech, she surpassed the 900-point total. The updated totals are:
Career Record: Tanae Davis-Cain 155
Mara Freshour 139
Wendy Hampton 134
Tanae Davis-Cain: 1,026
Mara Freshour: 902
Monroe Leads FSU in THREE Different Categories
Junior Jacinta Monroe currently leads the team in scoring (13.6 ppg), rebounding (7.1 rpg) and blocked shots (2.2 bpg). Monroe has shown she is capable of earning a double-double. In the loss to Florida, Monroe registered the 11th double-double of her career and third of the season with team-highs in points (18) and rebounds (10). She turned in five double-doubles as a freshman and had three last season during her sophomore campaign.
TAKING DOWN THE NATION’S NO. 3 TEAM
Florida State’s upset victory over No. 3 Texas A&M Monday night marked the first time FSU has defeated a ranked opponent since beating then-No. 25 Ohio State last year. The Seminoles’ last win over a top-five-ranked team occurred in the 2007 NCAA Tournament when they upset then-No. 5 Stanford to advance to FSU’s first Sweet Sixteen. The victory over the Aggies also marked the Seminoles’ first win over a top-three program since downing then-No. 2 Duke in 2004. With Monday’s win, FSU now has three victories all-time against top-three-ranked teams.
FSU GOES AGAINST HISTORY TO START THE NEW YEAR
FSU has historically struggled in their first games on the new calendar year during the Sue Semrau era. Through 11 seasons, FSU was just 3-8 in their first game after New Year’s Day entering Monday’s showdown with Texas A&M but is now 4-8 in those types of games after earning the upset.
A SECOND HALF TO REMEMBER
After a quick timeout by head coach Sue Semrau early in the second half of the Texas A&M game, FSU went on a tear. The Seminoles went on an incredible 34-10 run to close out the game. FSU did this by making timely shots on the offensive end and limiting the Aggies’ playmakers on the defensive end. After shooting just over 20 percent in the first half, FSU shot just over 62 percent in the second half. And perhaps more importantly, the Seminoles limited Texas A&M’s stellar guard Takia Starks as she finished with just six points – well below her average – on just 3-for-18 shooting. She was also 0-for-8 from 3-point range. For the game, FSU scored 41 points in the second half compared to just 24 by the Aggies. The Seminoles wound up nailing 15 of their 22 shot attempts in the final 20 minutes and ended the game on a 20-3 run.
VERY EXCITING MOMENTS
Trailing by 17 points with 13 minutes remaining in the game against Texas A&M, hope seemed to be lost for the Seminoles. But after chipping away at the Aggies lead and cutting the deficit to just six points with around five minutes remaining in regulation, things got even more exciting for everyone at the Tucker Center. The frenzy all started when Tanae Davis-Cain drilled a 3-pointer with 4:42 remaining in the ballgame to cut Texas A&M’s lead to just 50-47. Davis-Cain’s fist-pumping to the crowd and chest bumping with her teammates then led to a lay-up by Angel Gray and a couple of Cierra Bravard free-throws that gave FSU a 51-50 lead with just over four minutes remaining. Courtney Ward then converted a lay-up and hit a 3-pointer to put the Seminoles on top at 56-50 and FSU never looked back.
FIRST WIN OF THE YEAR WHEN TRAILING AT THE HALF
Monday’s upset victory over Texas A&M marked the first time this season that the Seminoles earned a victory despite trailing at the halftime break. The Aggies boasted a 29-19 advantage at the game’s intermission. Despite trailing by as many as 17 points in the second half, the win marked the squad’s biggest comeback of the 2008-09 season.
The Seminoles turned the ball over a season-low 12 times in the win at LSU but have averaged 21.7 turnovers per game in the last three contests, including tying its season high in giveaways with 26 against Virginia Tech. The Seminoles are now averaging 19.7 turnovers per game. In the Sue Semrau era, FSU averaged 20+ turnovers per contest in her first three seasons. In each of her NCAA Tournament seasons, FSU has averaged no more than 18.3 turnovers per game and that was last season.
FSU Turnovers Per Game In Semrau Era
2007-08 18.3 NCAA Tournament
2006-07 16.9 NCAA Tournament
2005-06 15.7 NCAA Tournament
2004-05 16.5 NCAA Tournament
2000-01 17.8 NCAA Tournament
SEMINOLES OUTSCORE HUSKIES IN SECOND HALF
No. 1-ranked UConn is one of the best women’s college basketball teams in the country this season. But credit the Seminoles with not ever giving up against the nation’s top team. After falling behind 13-0 early on in the showdown between the two programs in Cancun, Mexico, FSU came out strong after the halftime break and actually outscored the Huskies 42-40 in the game’s final 20 minutes.
FSU AND IN-SEASON TOURNAMENTS
The Seminoles journey to Cancun, Mexico to take part in the Caribbean Classic along with Connecticut, Northern Colorado and Washington marked the second time this season in which FSU competed in an in-season tournament. Earlier this season, the Seminoles competed in the Coors Rocky Mountain Invitational on the campus of Colorado State in Fort Collins, Colo. during the Thanksgiving holiday. In that tournament, FSU defeated Murray State 85-50 in the opening game but fell to Valparaiso 80-74 in the tournament’s championship contest. After going 1-1 in Colorado and then are 1-2 in Mexico after beating Northern Colorado and losing to Washington and UConn, the Seminoles are 27-12 during in-season tournaments in the Sue Semrau era (since 1997-98 season). The Seminoles have won seven in-season tournaments during Semrau’s tenure – including two during the 2004-05 season.
FSU WAS OUT OF CONTINENTAL U.S. FOR THIRD TIME
FSU’s journey to Cancun, Mexico to compete in the Caribbean Classic was just the third time ever that the Seminoles have traveled outside the Continental United States to play basketball during the regular season. Both of FSU’s previous trips across country lines were to San Juan Puerto Rico to compete in the San Juan Shootout during the 1994-95 and 2004-05 seasons. The Seminoles competed in three games during that in-season tournament in 1994 and lost each contest to Texas Tech, Southern Illinois and Michigan State. FSU then bounced back in a big way 10 years later when it won all three games against Fordham, Towson and UNC-Charlotte during the San Juan Shootout in 2004. FSU is now 4-6 in games played outside of the United States.
Best Defensive Performance of the Season
Bouncing back after a poor showing against the University of Florida, the FSU defense did its job in the win against Southeast Missouri State. The mere 31 points SEMO was allowed was the lowest total scored by an FSU opponent since the ‘Noles held Savannah State to just 28 points in a 107-28 romp on Nov. 23, 2003. The fewest amount of points that FSU has ever allowed in a game was 26 when the Clemson Tigers posted that many in an 80-26 loss during the 1993-94 season.
Antionette Howard Leaves Team
Sophomore forward Antionette Howard has decided to not play basketball at FSU and has left the team. She will finish the academic semester at Florida State.
FSU Picked to Finish Fifth in the ACC
The ACC Preseason Poll was selected by the newly-formed Blue Ribbon Panel, which consists of national and local media members as well as school representatives.
2008-09 ACC Preseason Poll
1. North Carolina (15 first place votes)
2. Maryland (11 first place votes)
3. Duke (14 first place votes)
4. Virginia (two first place votes)
5. Florida State
6. Georgia Tech
7. Boston College
8. NC State
10. Virginia Tech
12. Wake Forest
Florida State Women’s Basketball Program Signs Talented 2009 Prospect
FSU head coach Sue Semrau announced the signing of 6-foot-3 forward Chelsea Davis, a talented post player from Middletown, Delaware, to a national letter of intent.
Davis has been one of the top girl’s high school basketball players in the entire northeast since she burst onto the scene two years ago. She will enter her senior season as a three-year starter and has recorded 1,257 career points and 744 career rebounds. She averaged 21.4 points, 11.5 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game as a junior on her way to leading the team in points, rebounds, steals and blocks per game.
A three-time all-state honoree, including first team honors in each of the last two seasons and honorable mention honors as a freshman, Davis has earned first team all-conference honors the last three seasons and has also been named the MVP of her team three straight years.
Davis is ranked as the 35th-best post-player prospect in the entire country, according to Hoopgurlz.