Jan. 27, 2006
When the Florida State women’s basketball team (11-7, 2-3 ACC) faces Virginia (13-5, 2-4 ACC) Sunday, January 29th at 1 p.m. (Regional Sports Network but does not include Sun Sports) in Charlottesville, the Seminoles will be coming off their second bye-week of the month of January but it comes after three ACC games, including two on the road vs. top 6-ranked opponents.
“It is interesting having two weeks off in one month, especially a month where we’ve had very few home games,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “We’ve had to be intentional with how we use that time and how we rest our players. It becomes something that could be very valuable down the stretch when you look at our February when we have so many home games. Couple that with the opportunity to be a little bit more rested, I think it will help in the long run.”
The Seminoles will play UVA for the second time this season before facing six other league teams (Miami, NC State, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Boston College) even once. Sunday’s contest will be the 33rd meeting between Florida State and UVA. The Cavs lead the series 27-5, including FSU’s 60-46 win on January 8th. After going winless in the first 20 tries vs. UVA, the Seminoles have now won five games vs. the Cavs since the 2000-01 season. The last 10 games between FSU and UVA have been decided by an average of 5.9 points per game but the Seminoles took the last game by 14 points – FSU’s largest margin of victory over UVA.
“Virginia has gotten much better than the last time we played them, only about three weeks ago,” Semrau said. “They’re playing on their home court which is going to be tough and we have to be tough going into it. We’ve got to respect their shooters. In that gym, it’s their last year in U-Hall, we’ve got to make sure that we get out and that we pressure up on shooters. I also think we’ve got to make sure we take advantage of the inside so that we have better looks at what’s going on, on the offensive end, in order to keep them from having more possessions on their end.
“You’ve got to look at the way both team’s rhythms have changed and grown,” Semrau continued. “Virginia’s done a nice job with putting different players in the line up who have given them more stability, more flow to their offense. We’ve become a much better passing team, a much better rebounding team. You face off again and it’s a brand new ball game and the only thing you can really take from the past is that you’re familiar with personnel.”
Junior Alicia Gladden, who is leading FSU in ACC scoring at 14.0 points per game and now overall at 12.1 points per game, recorded her second double-double of the season with 19 points and 10 rebounds at No. 3 North Carolina in FSU’s last contest. Rookie Britany Miller has averaged 14.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in FSU’s last three games and the Seminoles have outrebounded each of their last two opponents. Since defeating UVA in its first ACC home game, and second league game of the season, FSU has gone 1-2 while the Cavaliers have gone 2-3 with both wins being on the road. The Seminoles are still looking for their first ACC road win of the season.
“I think we continue to get better and better with our road play,” Semrau said. “It’s almost like it’s our home away from home now since we don’t have very many home games, the next two again are on the road and one team we’ve faced before (Virginia) and one team we don’t have to travel as far to face (Georgia Tech). We’ve been intentional in preparing for it and we’re going to be our best come Sunday.”
After outrebounding its opponents in eight of its first nine games, FSU was outrebounded in four consecutive games and in five of seven contests prior to the Clemson game. The Seminoles got back to the fundamentals and it has proven successful as the Tribe has outrebounded its last two opponents. FSU had 45 rebounds in the Clemson win and was +18 on the boards. With 44 rebounds at UNC, the team was +6. FSU is 8-1 when recorded 40+ rebounds this season with the lone loss being at UNC.
“I feel like we really competed hard against Carolina and had some uncharacteristic turnovers in the last four minutes of the game,” Semrau said. “Our rebounding shows our growth when we really lock in. There’s so many things that we’ve had to grow in and rebounding now is something we have to continue to dominate because it gives us a better opportunity to have more possessions. To be able to outrebound Carolina, at Carolina, builds our confidence and helps us to understand how important that is. Right now, though, we’re really focused on what’s ahead and that’s Virginia.”
With a win at Virginia, the Seminoles would earn just their second win in Charlottesville and would record two straight wins over the Cavaliers for the first time in the series.