Dec. 2, 2006
GREENVILLE, N.C. – The Florida State women’s basketball team improved to 7-1 with a 69-54 victory over Fairfield (2-5) in the first round of the Lady Pirate Invitational Saturday afternoon at Williams Arena. Sophomore Britany Miller led the Seminoles with a game-high 17 points while Nikki Anthony and Tanae Davis-Cain recorded double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Florida State will play East Carolina, a 73-70 double overtime winner over North Dakota State, Sunday at 3 p.m. in the championship game of the Lady Pirate Invitational. The broadcast will be available via Internet only at www.seminoles.com.
“I did think we were rusty in the first half,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “I didn’t think we were doing all of the little things very well. It was an eight-point game at half and it wasn’t a pretty half but we came out in the second half and did the things we wanted to do. We defended much better, stayed out of foul trouble, got the ball inside which made a huge difference in our offensive production in the second half.”
The second half belonged to Miller who scored 13 of her points in 13 minutes of play in the final 20 minutes. Florida State outscored Fairfield 10-4 to open the second half and Miller scored six of those points. The Seminoles shot a much improved 54 percent from the field in the second half and led by 10 or more points the final 19 minutes of the game.
Defensively, Florida State finished the game with a 50-35 rebounding advantage and held the Stags to 37 percent shooting. Mara Freshour led all players with 10 rebounds while Alicia Gladden added nine boards of her own. The Seminoles’ largest lead of the afternoon was 21 points after two free throws by freshman Angel Gray putting them ahead 62-41 with 5:03 remaining in the game but back-to-back three-pointers by Fairfield’s Meka Wert and Sabra Wrice, who led the Stags with 11 and 15 points, brought Fairfield to within 15 points.
Eleven players saw action in the game and 10 of them scored. Shante Williams started the game but played just nine minutes before being sidelined for the second straight game with flu-like symptoms.
“I loved how Jacinta and Britany connected and the high-low look we had with those two and the post presence, I really loved that,” Semrau said. “I also thought the play of Angel Gray sparked us in so many ways and to be able to rest our veterans and have Shante (Williams) out without a lot of problems, was a big step forward for us today.”
Aggressiveness kept the Seminoles ahead in the first half despite a dismal offensive performance. Florida State was getting good looks but couldn’t get the ball to drop and shot just 31 percent in the first 20 minutes. The good news is that the Seminole defense held Fairfield to just 29 percent shooting from the field. Led by Gladden’s eight points, six rebounds and three steals, FSU had a 26-18 lead and a 29-20 advantage on the boards at halftime. The Seminoles never trailed jumping out to an 8-0 lead and had a lead of as much as nine points at 19-10 with 8:18 left in the first half.
The Seminoles will return to Tallahassee after Sunday’s contest and will host Stetson, Wednesday, December 6th at 7 p.m.