RALEIGH, N.C. – The Florida State women’s basketball team defeated NC State 64-59 Thursday night and in doing so gave head coach Sue Semrau her first-ever victory at Reynolds Coliseum.
Entering the Atlantic Coast Conference showdown, Semrau was 0-8 all-time in the Wolfpack’s home gym during her 12-year FSU career.
Thursday’s outcome not only puts an end to Semrau’s unfavorable streak but it extends the Seminoles’ (15-4, 3-0 ACC) very favorable winning streak to six-straight games – three of which have come in conference play.
“I’ll tell you, it wasn’t easy,” Semrau said. “I am just proud of this team for the way that they accomplish something new everyday. We conquered something brand new by getting a `W’ in this place.”
The Seminoles were led offensively by a balanced attack that featured four players scoring in double figures against NC State (8-9, 0-2).
Junior forward Jacinta Monroe led all Seminoles with 14 points while achieving her fifth double-double of the season as she grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds. Sophomore point guard Courtney Ward also added 12 points and senior Mara Freshour contributed 11 of her own to go along with four assists.
Starters Tanae Davis-Cain and Alysha Harvin both looked like they were going to put on an offensive clinic to start the game. But after combining for 11 points midway through the first half, Harvin picked up her third foul just before halftime and Davis-Cain was called for her third early in the second period.
Despite having their collective minutes limited because of the foul trouble, both players still were able to leave their marks in the box score. Davis-Cain finished with 10 points and Harvin posted nine.
True freshman Cierra Bravard also scored eight.
“We didn’t even know that Coach Sue had never won here,” Monroe said. “We just came out playing hard and we knew that NC State would be a very tough matchup. Their crowd here is crazy. They stick with their players from beginning to end and it’s never going to be easy to play here.”
NC State trailed by double digits through much of the second half but made things interesting in the waning moments with a 9-1 run to cut the score to 59-50 with just over a minute left to play.
After Freshour made two free-throws with 1:10 left to play to put FSU on top 61-50, NC State’s Shayla Fields connected on a 3-pointer to move the score to 61-53. After Ward made a free throw, Fields then hit another triple to cut the Seminoles’ lead to just 62-56 with 33 seconds remaining in regulation.
Monroe’s two free throws in the final seconds then sealed the victory for the Seminoles.
For the game, FSU shot 39.7 percent from the field while NC State shot 29.3 percent.
Fields led the Wolfpack with 25 points.
Florida State’s current six-game winning streak is special in a variety of ways.
Not only has it propelled the Seminoles to a 15-4 record but quality wins at LSU, Virginia Tech and now NC State, coupled with a win at home over previously No. 3-ranked Texas A&M has given FSU a lot of confidence as the team’s conference schedule isn’t going to get any easier.
The Seminoles took a 31-24 advantage into the locker room at halftime. FSU was led in the first period by Freshour’s seven points and Bravard’s six.
FSU shot just 38.2 percent from the field in the game’s first 20 minutes but NC State was worse as the Wolfpack shot a paltry 29.4 percent to start the game. Both teams were even in rebounds at 23 at halftime.
Florida State’s ACC schedule continues this weekend as the Seminoles welcome the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (13-3, 1-1) to the Donald L. Tucker Center. Tip-off is slated for 6 p.m.