Dec. 21, 2003
MALIBU, Calif. – Florida State freshman Shante Williams scored 15 of her team-high 17 points in the second half to lead the Seminoles from a 15-point halftime deficit to an 88-77 victory over Fairleigh-Dickinson Sunday evening in the Malibu Beach Classic, hosted by Pepperdine. FSU improved to 6-3 on the season while FDU fell to 3-3 overall.
The Seminoles trailed from the tip and were down 50-35 at the break. With the score 2-2, FDU ran off five straight to go up 7-2 and the Seminoles had to fight back. FSU forced the second of three first half ties at 15-15 with 14:36 on the clock and the contest was tied again at 17-17. The Seminoles just couldn’t get anything going offensively while everything was going FDU’s way. FSU trailed seven at 29-22 when Ronalda Pierce hit a layup to pull the Tribe within five at 29-24 but that would be it for awhile for the Seminoles. FDU ran off six unanswered and nine of the game’s next 13 points to go up by 12 and led by double digits the rest of the half. FSU shot 44 percent in the first half and was led by Ronalda Pierce and Lauren Bradley who had six points apiece. FDU shot an impressive 54 percent and had three players in double figures. FSU did have the edge in rebounding at 18-14.
FSU looked like a completely different team in the second half. In explosive fashion, the Tribe ran off the first 17 points of the half with aggressive play on both ends of the court and took its first lead of the game at 52-50 with 15:31 left in the game. Williams and fellow freshmen Alicia Gladden really got the Seminoles going, scoring nine of FSU’s first 13 points in the second half. Fairleigh-Dickinson finally scored at the 14:30 mark, but FSU continued its revitalized play. FDU hit back-to-back threes and regained the lead but only for a moment. Holly Johnson recorded FSU’s only three of the game with just under 12 minutes remaining to give the Tribe a 61-58 lead and despite two more ties, the Seminoles would not trail again. FSU led 68-67 to go when the Seminoles went on a 7-0 run that would give them their largest lead at eight points. Florida State took its first double-digit lead at 79-69 on a breakaway lay up by Ganiyat Adeduntan with 3:15 left to play. FSU led by at least nine the rest of the game.
The Seminoles shot an impressive 64 percent in the second half to finish at 56 percent for the game and had just four second half turnovers and 15 for the game. Genesis Choice added 12 points while Tasheika Allen and Lauren Bradley also scored in double figures with 10 points apiece. Gladden set her career-high with nine points while freshman Ronalda Pierce and Johnson also added nine points each. Led by Choice and Pierce, with six apiece, FSU dominated the boards, 40-25.
The Seminoles will head home for the holidays and reconvene in Atlanta, Ga., on Christmas Day. FSU will play LSU on Dec. 27th at 12:30 p.m. at Philips Arena in the Russell Dodge Shootout/ACC/SEC Challenge.