Nov. 26, 2005
There was a youth movement at the Donald L. Tucker Center Saturday afternoon. Led by freshman Britany Miller’s 19 points and 14 rebounds, the Florida State underclassmen led the Seminoles (3-1) to a 75-67 victory over Western Carolina (0-3) in the first round of the 2005 Seminole Classic. The Seminole freshmen and sophomores accounted for 46 of Florida State’s 75 points.
“I was really pleased with the play of our younger players on this team,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “I thought they really gave us a spark. Britany (Miller) was tremendous not only in her ability to score, but her ability to rebound and to have a double-double as a freshman with three blocks and four steals to go along with. She really was the one who was key for us in the win today. Our other young players, Shante (Williams) and Mara Freshour stepped up and played big minutes for us and Nikki Anthony played big minutes for us as well.
“We had a slow start again,” Semrau continued. “A lot of that might have been from a bit of a letdown after a big rivalry game like we had on Wednesday but we’re going to have to work really hard to win a Seminole Classic championship this year.”
Florida State didn’t gain control of the game until there was a minute remaining when two free throws by Holly Johnson gave the Seminoles an eight point lead and some breathing room. After a sea-saw first half that saw seven ties and five lead changes, the Seminoles, who shot 28 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes, found themselves down 31-26 at halftime. FSU came out aggressive in the second half and sparked by the strong play of Nikki Anthony, who had eight points and eight rebounds off of the bench, went up by as many as eight at 45-37 with 11:36 left in the game but the Catamounts would not go away and went on a 14-5 run to regain the lead at 51-50.
Back-to-back three-point plays by Shante Williams, who finished the game with 15 points, put the Seminoles back on top but only for a short time. Strong free throw shooting kept Western Carolina in it. Erin May and Chevon Keith each contributed eight second half points and the Catamounts led 59-58 with 4:13 left. FSU finally pulled away with a 9-0 run to earn the win.
Miller was the only player for Florida State who could get anything going in the first half and had eight points and seven rebounds but played just 10 minutes because of two early fouls. FSU couldn’t contain Western Carolina’s Lauren Powell who had 13 first half points on her way to a team-high 18 points for the game.
With a 50 percent shooting effort in the second half, FSU shot 39 percent for the game and had a 44-42 edge in the rebounding department. The Seminoles attempted a season-high 33 free throws and shot 73 percent from the charity stripe.
FSU will play Montana, a 57-47 winner over Wright State in the second game of the Seminole Classic, in the championship game Sunday at 3 p.m. Wright State and Western Carolina will get things started with a 1 p.m. tilt in the consolation game.