Dec. 20, 2004
STATS NOT AVAILABLE
A strong second half effort lifted the Florida State women’s basketball team to a 65-51 victory over Fordham Monday in the first round of the San Juan Shootout. The Seminoles remained undefeated with the victory and improved to 9-0 while Fordham fell to 3-6. The Seminoles trailed by as many as 13 in the first half and 36-29 at halftime before holding the Rams to just 15 second-half points. FSU will face Towson Tuesday at 6 p.m. Eastern in second-round action.
“When you have the ability defensively to hold a team to 15 second half points, it says a lot about your team and I was pleased with the effort we had in the second half to do so,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “I thought Nikki Anthony came in and gave us good minutes and LaQuinta Neely gave us an opportunity to penetrate and to get the ball inside. I have to compliment Holly Johnson. Her effort on both ends of the floor was tremendous and really was the glue for our team tonight.”
Senior Roneeka Hodges, the reigning ACC player of the week, led the Seminoles with 22 points, including 15 in the second half. FSU scored the first six points of the second half but didn’t get its first lead of the game until 10:44 left when Linnea Liljestrand hit a three-pointer to give the Seminoles a 43-42 advantage. The trey started a 13-0 run and the Seminoles led the rest of the way. Overall, FSU outscored Fordham 23-5 in the first 14:05 of the second half.
A slow start put the Seminoles on the defensive from the beginning. Fordham scored the first nine points of the game and Hodges was the first to score for the Seminoles with a bucket at 15:34. FSU trailed 18-5 before sophomore Alicia Gladden, who finished the game with 12 points, and Hodges went to work. The two combined for 12 of FSU’s next 15 points and the Tribe pulled to within a bucket at 22-20 with 5:01 left in the half. Gladden had nine strong first half points, including seven straight. Fordham continued its aggressive play and ran out the clock outscoring FSU 14-9.
If the Seminoles are able to beat Towson on Tuesday, they will match FSU’s longest winning streak of 10 games. The Tigers return all five starters from last year’s 9-19 squad. They have a winning record this season and were 59-51 winners over Toledo in San Juan Shootout first round action.
“We look forward to playing a Towson team who is 6-2 and plays extremely hard,” Semrau said. “Playing back-to-back games will be a challenge for this team and so far, they have met every challenge this season.”