Jan. 5, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Thanks to a 20-3 run to finish the game, the Florida State women’s basketball team upset No. 3-ranked Texas A&M, 60-53, in front of a raucous home crowd Monday night.
The Seminoles (12-4) fought back from as many as 17 points down to outscore the previously unbeaten Aggies (12-1) 41-24 in the second half. FSU shot just 20.8-percent from the field in the game’s first 20 minutes but bounced back in a big way by shooting a staggering 65.2-percent in the second period.
“We had every shot we wanted in the first half and couldn’t make any of them,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “I thought the fortitude shown by the players to keep shooting the ball when things weren’t going our way and the confidence to knock shots down was key.”
Coming off a game in which she became the 22nd player in program history to reach 1,000 career points, senior guard Tanae Davis-Cain scored 11 of her 13 total points in the second half. Her 3-pointer with 4:42 remaining in the ballgame cut Texas A&M’s lead to just 50-47.
After a lay-up by Angel Gray and a couple of Cierra Bravard free-throws gave FSU a 51-50 lead with just over four minutes remaining, Courtney Ward converted a lay-up and hit a 3-pointer to put the Seminoles on top for good at 56-50.
Ward, who started for the second game in a row at the point guard position, finished the contest with nine points, three assists and three rebounds. Junior forward Jacinta Monroe led all FSU players with 15 points and nine rebounds and Bravard added 10 points and four rebounds.
“I am at a loss for words right now,” Monroe said. “It was so exciting. It was such a team effort for us out there. Playing so together was something we hadn’t done in a while and to play as a team that is able to come back from trailing by so much and to pull out the win feels really good.”
The game’s outcome marked the first time FSU has defeated a ranked opponent since beating then-No. 25 Ohio State last year. The Seminoles’ last win over a top-five-ranked team occurred in the 2007 NCAA Tournament when they upset then-No. 5 Stanford.
The victory over Texas A&M also marked the Seminoles’ first win over a top-three program since downing then-No. 2 Duke in 2004.
With Monday’s win, FSU now has three wins all-time against top-three-ranked teams.
The Seminoles shot 42.6-percent from the field for the game compared to just 30.6-percent shooting by the Aggies. In addition to outshooting Texas A&M, FSU also outrebounded the Aggies 37-36 and had more points in the paint (34-20).
Tanisha Smith led all Aggies players with 17 points while leading scorer Takia Starks was held in check all evening. Texas A&M’s do-it-all guard was limited to just six points on 3-for-18 shooting – including her 0-for-8 mark from 3-point range.
The Seminoles will be looking to build off this historic victory when they open Atlantic Coast Conference play on Thursday against Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.
“To play up in Blacksburg is always difficult,” Semrau said. “The crowd up there does a great job of supporting the Hokies.”
OPPONENT POSTGAME QUOTES
Texas A&M Head Coach Gary Blair
On the game …
“Their matchup zone was good in limiting us to one shot in the last 10 minutes. Our game is fast and ugly. This is a team that I did not want to press full court. I wanted to keep it to the half court. Florida State kept their composure. (Florida State Head Coach) Sue (Semrau) did a great job of not panicking and not getting down on her kids. I had some problems on certain positions tonight. (Mara) Freshour played smart and she was beating us off the dribble. My two All-Americans did not play like All-Americans. This was a good learning experience for us. This is definitely an NCAA (Tournament) team. Florida State and Pitt are the two best teams we have played this year.”
Texas A&M Forward/Guard Tanisha Smith
On the game …
“Before the half, our defensive pressure was really good. The first 10 minutes of the second, we played really well, but in the last 10 minutes, our intensity went down. They (Florida State) kept going and were making their shots, while we were missing wide-open shots.”