Nov. 8, 2006
The Florida State women’s basketball team jumped out to10-2 lead and never looked back on its way to a 93-82 victory over Premier Players Wednesday night in exhibition action at the Donald L. Tucker Center. For the second straight game, sophomore Britany Miller led the Seminoles with 26 points as five Seminoles recorded double figures in the win.
“It was really a different start to our game a week ago and I was pleased because I thought our defense was what really fueled our offense,” head coach Sue Semrau said. “I just thought we transitioned extremely well and when we get out wide, we run the floor, we are deep enough and have strong enough athletes that we can make plays.”
Fifty-six percent shooting and a 36-35 rebounding edge were keys for the Seminoles in contest as was a solid performance by junior guard Shante Williams who ran the point. Williams finished the game with 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds but even more impressive were her 11 assists and just two turnovers in 25 minutes of play.
“Shante showed tonight the kind of player she can be in this league (ACC),” Semrau said. She’s a player that I thought led our team in so many ways tonight. It wasn’t just on the offensive end of the floor. It wasn’t just delivering the basketball as well as she did but it was almost like a quarterback finding different receivers just the way she spread the ball out made it very difficult to defend us. On the defensive end of the floor, she was very conscientious because there were great shooters on the floor. She did a great job of communicating and she’s really stepping up into a leadership role on our team.”
Despite a 25-point lead during the first half and 61 percent shooting, Florida State led just 46-39 at halftime as Premier hit four three-pointers in the final 5:45 to pull within seven at the break. While Miller hit a jumper to start things off in the second half, Premier continued its solid outside shooting and with two straight three-pointers, pulled to within two points. The Seminoles, however, would not relinquish the lead. With the Seminoles leading 52-50, Mara Freshour hit one of her three, three-pointers and the closest Premier got the rest of the game was within four points.
“We got a little satisfied and maybe got tired of doing some things right which was not a surprise with a young basketball team,” Semrau said. “We needed to challenge them and I thought every time Premier came knocking that we answered and I was very pleased with that. Even when they closed it to two points at one point in the second half, the veteran players especially answered the call. Shante (Williams) on the floor, Mara (Freshour) on the floor, I felt very confident they were going to make a play to separate us again.”
Florida State was unstoppable in the first part of the first half, taking a commanding 25 point lead at 40-15 with 6:28 left until the end of the half. Miller paced the team with 15 points in 14 minutes of play in the first 20 minutes. Back-to-back three-pointers by Freshour and Williams early in the game started a 16-4 Florida State run that gave the Seminoles momentum and then Premier Players themselves went to the long ball and got right back into the game.
As a team, Florida State shot 47 percent from three-point land for the game on 8-for-17 and had 11 steals and four blocks. Joining Miller and Williams in the double-figure scoring department were senior Alicia Gladden, who scored 16 of her 18 points in the second half, and sophomores Tanae Davis-Cain (13) and Freshour (11).
“Our team is doing a great job of getting Britany (Miller) touches and Britany’s confidence has really risen as a result of the team rallying around her and she’s just delivering. She’s just so much better conditioned than she’s been in the past. She’s more skilled and that’s just a credit to her hard work and her teammates getting her the ball in the right spots where she can score.”
With the loss, Premier Players’ record went to 3-6 during its exhibition season with wins over Florida, St. John’s and Syracuse and losses to Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt and FSU opponents’ North Carolina, NC State and Georgia.
Florida State will officially tip-off the season Sunday, November 12th vs. UAB at 2 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center.