“You don’t necessarily have to make (your shot), but if you don’t, you have to get back on defense,” Romero said. “We let our offense dictate our defense. So every time we missed a shot, we just put our heads down and we just wouldn’t fight.”
Added Thomas: “When we got down, we just really got down. We’d get down on ourselves instead of picking each other up.”
Against a team like Baylor, that’s a recipe for disaster. And the Lady Bears held up their end of the bargain, building a 16-point lead by halftime and stretching it to as much as 24 points in the fourth period.
It wasn’t the first time things spun out of control for FSU this season. But Semrau hopes it will be the last, period.
“I’ve never had a Florida State team that has allowed that to happen,” she said. “That kind of fight and grit that is Seminole basketball, and I didn’t think we had that this year. We’ve got to develop it next year.”
The good news is that three of FSU’s core players – Romero, forward Ivey Slaughter and guard Brittany Brown – are back as seniors next year. And Thomas, fresh off an All-ACC selection, will only be a junior.
It didn’t take Thomas long to look ahead.
“I’m excited, because we can start in the summer,” Thomas said. “That’s where great teams are made.”
And where tough ones are made, too.
Semrau vowed to revamp the team’s mental makeup before the next season begins, and having a surplus of veterans ought to make that an easier task than usual.
But if not, Semrau is confident she can find players who will get on board.
“Our emotions have to stay in check,” she said. “You have to stay at a certain level. And that’s something important. Going into next year, we’re going to have enough people on our roster that if you’re not at that level, then you won’t be on the court.
“We’ve got to change things.”