Jan. 19, 2006
Led by a balanced offensive attack and strong rebounding, the Florida State women’s basketball team improved to 11-6 overall and 2-2 in the ACC with an 80-66 victory over the Clemson Tigers (8-11, 2-3 ACC) Thursday night at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
“I was pleased with our rebounding effort,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “I thought we did a tremendous job turning it around in one game from up at Maryland where we were less than adequate on the boards, so I loved our effort there. We had 25 defensive boards and they had 27 total boards and that’s where we’ve been really wrestling lately is on the defensive end. We’ve done a pretty good job on the offensive glass but we really needed to limit them to eight offensive boards and I thought that was huge.”
The Seminoles, who scored 48 of their points in the paint, were led by post players Britany Miller and Christie Lautsch, who had 14 and 12 points, respectively and combined for 15 rebounds. Alicia Gladden continued her team dominance in league play with 13 points and four rebounds while also making her presence felt on the defensive side of the ball with five of FSU’s 14 steals.
“Our ability to attack the paint and score in the paint was the difference in the basketball game,” Semrau said. “I thought Christy (Lautsch) really started it off for us, getting great looks at the low block and Britany (Miller) came in, in the second half and was able to do the same and that really helped our game.”
The Seminoles, who have now won seven straight over Clemson, had a 15-point lead going into halftime and went up by as many as 17 points early in the second half and although the Tigers fought to within seven with 14:52 left in the game, the Seminoles always had an answer. In truly a team effort, 10 Seminoles saw action, including nine with double-figure minutes, and each of them scored at least four points. Miller scored 12 of her points in the final 20 minutes including a stretch where she scored six of eight points for the Seminoles. FSU led just eight at 60-52 with 8:50 remaining when Miller hit back-to-back lay ups to put the Tribe back up 12. Florida State led by double digits the final 6:40 of the game.
Although the Seminoles led the final 38:13 of the game, only trailing 0-2 to start the game, the first half was not without its spurts from Clemson. The good news, though, was that Florida State always answered back. FSU led 18-6 early on after a 10-0 run and looked as if the Seminoles would sail to an easy victory but the Tigers responded to pull within four at 26-22. The final 7:05 of the first half saw FSU outscore the Tigers 13-2 and go into the locker room with a 15-point advantage at 39-24. Lautsch sparked the Seminoles with a six-point, five-rebound first half performance while Gladden had things going with eight points and four steals.
“I know that’s what Christie (Lautsch) can do,” Semrau said. “I thought she played with great tempo tonight. She had four offensive boards in the first half. She played like a dominant post player and we’ve needed her to do that. She just came out and she produced tonight.”
Point guard Holly Johnson had a solid game with nine points, seven rebounds and five assists. She played a game-high 35 minutes and committed just one turnover. LaQuinta Neely finished the game with eight points and four assists and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line.
FSU, which had been outrebounded in its first three ACC games, finished the game with a 45-27 advantage on the boards and forced 23 Clemson turnovers. The Tigers had three players, Maxienne White, Julie Talley and Tasha Phillips, score 14 points apiece. White led the way with seven rebounds.
The Seminoles will travel to Chapel Hill, N.C., for a Sunday afternoon 2:00 p.m. tilt at No. 3 UNC (17-0, 4-0 ACC). The game can be heard in Tallahassee on Sports Radio AM 1270 or by accessing www.seminoles.com.