Feb. 5, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – It was indeed a “Super Sunday” for the Florida State women’s basketball team as the Seminoles downed No. 24 NC State 75-61 Sunday afternoon at the Donald L. Tucker Center. Led by senior Holly Johnson’s career-high 21 points and Alicia Gladden’s third double-double in the last four games with 19 points and 11 rebounds, the Seminoles earned their largest victory, by margin, over the Wolfpack and improved to 14-7 overall and 5-3 in league play. NC State fell to 13-9 and 3-6 in the ACC.
“I’m just really, again, impressed with the growth of our team,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said, “and with the toughness that seems to be developing. The last two games down the stretch is when we’ve been our best. We were 10 out of 12 from the free throw there at the end and had some big rebounds and some big stops. We had a great crowd for a game on Super Bowl Sunday and we really appreciate the support for the Tallahassee community.”
When the Wolfpack regained the lead at 51-50 with 7:57 left in the game after trailing Florida State by as many as 13 points early in the second half, the Seminoles could have panicked, but they didn’t. In a game of spurts, FSU had yet another one left and ran off the game’s next 10 straight points to not only regain the lead, but regain it convincingly. NC State did get to within three points with 2:15 remaining on a three-pointer by Ashley Key, who led the Wolfpack with 15 points and seven rebounds, but Gladden, as she did all day, answered again with a three-point play of her own. Her free throw to finish that play was the first of 11 free throws the Tribe would hit in the final 1:55 of the game.
As with the first half, FSU’s runs began with the play of Gladden and Johnson. It was Gladden who regained the lead with a jumper to make the score 52-51 and then, after a lay up by sophomore Shante Williams, who finished with 11 points for FSU, Johnson scored three unanswered buckets.
Freshman Britany Miller also scored in double figures for Florida State with 10 points, eight of which helped the Seminoles to a first half lead. For the second straight game, and fourth out of the last five games, the Seminoles outrebounded their opponent with a 48-40 advantage over the Wolfpack.
“Basketball is such a game of runs,” Semrau said. “I thought the calls that were coming down got us a bit out of rhythm in the sense that we didn’t go into Britany, who had gotten her fourth foul and then we were looking at some different line ups and then we finally found what we needed and that was Nikki Anthony down the stretch doing a great job on (Gillian) Goring and then again on (Tiffany) Stansbury and coming up with big stops. Then the courage that Holly, Quinta (Neely) and Shante had to push the ball knowing the trust they have that their teammates are going to fill in.”
The Seminoles had a 38-30 halftime lead as Gladden paced the Seminoles with 12 points and five rebounds. FSU trailed by five twice early but went on a 10-2 run that began with a three-pointer by Ganiyat Adeduntan and ended with a three-point play by Shante Williams which put the Seminoles up 24-21 with 7:03 left in the half. The Wolfpack hit two free throws to ease the streak but the Seminoles responded with another run. This time FSU scored six straight and exploded for 12 of the game’s next 14 points and had a commanding 11-point lead at 36-25 with 2:09 remaining in the half. Johnson and Gladden combined for 10 of those points in that stretch. Johnson finished the half with eight points, four rebounds and three assists. FSU went into the locker room with a 23-17 rebounding edge.
“I’d just like to say that definitely the best team won today,” NC State head coach Kay Yow said. “Florida State really, I felt, just outplayed us. We had a few spurts during the game but we just didn’t have a consistency today that we’ve had in a number of games this year. Defensively, we weren’t playing as well. Going to the boards, we struggled in the first half and getting to the boards, in that spurt in the second half, really that’s how we caught back up. Offensively, we never got it going. Congratulations to Florida State. They played a great game and did a great job today.”
The Seminoles will head south to Miami Thursday, February 9th for a 7 p.m. contest with the Hurricanes.