Nov. 24, 2006
Former Seminole Brooke Wyckoff, who had her jersey No. 21 retired at halftime of the Florida State-Florida women’s basketball game Friday, met with the media during the first half of the game as the Seminoles came out firing against the Gators. During her four seasons in the Garnet and Gold, FSU wasn’t able to beat the Gators. Now the Seminoles have won three out of the last four, including a convincing 88-66 victory Friday at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
“Times have changed, that’s for sure,” Wyckoff said. “When I was here, it was a little different so it’s great to come back and see them beating up on the Gators and still be a part of it.
“It’s just so great to come back and see how this program has grown,” Wyckoff continued. “From their facilities to their record, which has been amazing the last couple of years, and the level of talent that is coming here now and the success they’ve had. It just makes me so proud to be a Seminole and to see how much has happened.”
The Gators game plan in the two schools only meeting of the season was to stop FSU leading scorer Britany Miller and they succeeded as the sophomore had just two points in the first half and finished with a season-low six for the game. But the great thing about this year’s Florida State team is that a different player seems to step up with each and every game. Friday’s Florida contest was no different and it was junior guard Shante Williams’ turn. She led all scorers with 21 points and had 11 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals by halftime. Her leadership helped Florida State to a 26-point halftime lead.
Miller, who had only six shot attempts, was still a force inside for the Seminoles, grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds and recording three blocks. Senior guard Alicia Gladden scored in double figures for the second straight game with 18 points and Williams’s running mate, sophomore guard Mara Freshour, had one of the best games of her career with 15 points.
“The one thing that I think is really exciting about our basketball team is that they take away somebody from our team, we have other players around who respond in a big way,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “They obviously took away our inside game with Britany and the way she’s been scoring, a smart thing to do and she got just six shots off which was fine because our guards really stepped up and knocked down big shots.”
It was Florida State’s defense that put the Seminoles ahead, and ahead for good. After Florida scored the game’s first bucket, the Seminoles went on a 13-0 run and kept on running. By halftime, Florida State led 51-26, had held Florida to 28 percent shooting from the field and outrebounded the Gators, 27-17.
“Well I think that the first half, Florida State started out very aggressive with their defense,” UF head coach Carolyn Peck said. “I think both teams did defensively started out aggressive just one team handled it and one team didn’t and I don’t think we handled it very well.”
The Seminoles kept up their intensity in the first five minutes of the second half and built a 37-point lead with 15:40 left in the game but the Gators fought back and outscored FSU 20-2 to pull within 19 points. UF pulled to within 16 points with 6:32 left in the game but got no closer. Florida State made its free throws down the stretch as its final 11 points, six points from Gladden alone, were from the charity stripe. Gladden finished the game 12-for-15 from the free throw line.
The 22-point victory is Florida State’s largest margin of victory over Florida since an 89-67 win back on February 19, 1983. The Seminoles will host Tulsa Monday, November 27th at 7 p.m.