Jan. 31, 2007
With a 16-point win over Virginia Sunday, the largest margin of victory over the Cavaliers in FSU history, the Florida State women’s basketball team has tied its best-ever ACC start at 5-1 and takes its 16-5 overall record on the road with a 7 p.m. meeting at Miami (10-12, 1-6 ACC) Thursday, February 1st at the BankUnited Center. The game will be televised on CSS and can also be heard in Tallahassee on WNLS AM 1270 or by accessing www.seminoles.com.
The Seminoles went 6-2 in the month of January and have been led in scoring by five different players in the last eight games.
“Do we have a go-to player for us right now, I’m not sure,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “It really varies from game to game and that’s a luxury in some ways. I like where we are for February and I think we can certainly get better. We certainly haven’t peaked yet.”
Florida State enters the game in sole possession of third place in the ACC while the Hurricanes are tied for 11th in the league. Thursday’s game will be the 31st meeting between Florida State and Miami and the second of two meetings between the two schools this season. The Seminoles hold a 23-7 advantage in the series which dates back to the 1974-75 season.
FSU had won four straight over the `Canes heading into the 2004-05 season, UM’s first season in the ACC, but the two teams hadn’t met for 12 years. Now members of the same conference, FSU has a 4-1 advantage over Miami in league play.
With a win at Miami, the Seminoles will not only be declared state champions with a perfect 5-0 record vs. state of Florida teams, but will have the program’s best start in ACC play at 6-1.
In five career games vs. Miami, FSU senior Alicia Gladden has averaged 15.8 points and 6.4 rebounds. With a team-high 18 points, she was one of four Seminoles who scored in double figures vs. the `Canes in the first meeting between the two teams this season. Gladden leads the team in scoring at 14.2 points and has elevated that mark to 17.0 points per game in ACC games, which ranks third in the league.
FSU is 3-0 so far this season on the road in the ACC and with a win at Miami, would secure a winning ACC road record for the second straight season. Last year, after starting 0-3 on the road in the ACC, FSU finished 4-3 and was one of just four ACC teams that had a winning ACC road record. The others were Maryland, Duke and North Carolina. The Seminoles have had a winning ACC road record just twice since joining the league in 1991-92 and that has been in the last two seasons. Even with their success on the road, the Seminoles know they will have a challenge ahead of them at Miami.
“With it being Miami, an instate rivalry, we will have players who are ready to go out and play their best game,” Semrau said. “It’s not easy going on the road, especially if you’ve beaten a team already. I think sometimes there’s a sense that it should just happen again but we’ve got to do a good job of making sure the team understands what it’s going to take and the implications of this basketball game.”
Miami has dropped seven of its last eight games but have the ACC’s leading scorer in Renee Taylor who is averaging 19.5 points per game. Taylor had 18 points in the first meeting between FSU and Miami this season.
“Miami’s chemistry is better as of late,” Semrau said. “They’ve been playing more zone. They played a lot of zone early but they played an awful lot of man-to-man against us in the first game. We anticipate them to press and we didn’t handle their press very well the first time. Because they’re smaller, it’s going to create some match up problems for us and we are going to have to find a way to counter it on the defensive end and take advantage of it on the offensive end.”