November 14, 1998
TULSA, Okla. – So what does a coach do when her leading scorer, Latavia Coleman, who just happens to also be the returning leading scorer in the Atlantic Coast Conference, doesn’t score her first point until 10 minutes left in the game? You go to a freshman. No, not usually, but it seemed to work for Head Coach Sue Semrau and the Florida State women’s basketball team tonight in its season-opener at the University of Tulsa. Freshman guard April Traylor scored a game-high 23 points as she led the Seminoles to a 76-67 victory over the Golden Hurricane at the Expo Square Pavilion.
“I was ready to come out and play,” Traylor, the Martinsville, Indiana, native said. “I was so excited to play in my first collegiate game. I just let the game come to me instead of going to the game and things worked out.”
Traylor also added seven rebounds, six steals and two assists to her performance.
Early foul trouble forced Coleman to the bench as the junior forward recorded one rebound in just eight minutes of action in the first half. The Tribe trailed by as many as seven points in the first 20 minutes, in a half that saw nine ties, and went into the lockerroom down by one at 35-34.
Traylor hit a jumper to open the second half and followed with a three-pointer to give Florida State a four-point lead and FSU never trailed again. Tulsa tied the game at 52-52 with 8:58 to play, but the Seminoles scored 13 of the game’s next 15 points and took a comfortable 11 point lead. The Golden Hurricane got no closer than six points the rest of the way.
Coleman rallied for 12 second-half points while senior Jen Robinson and sophomore Brooke Wyckoff contributed 13 and 11 points, respectively. Coleman and Wyckoff led the team with nine rebounds apiece while senior Tamara Gracey, a transfer from Tulsa, scored four points and grabbed eight boards. Senior guard Val Linley led the team with five assists.
“I was very proud of the way we had different people step up tonight,” Head Coach Sue Semrau said. “A season-opener on the road is always a difficult task. We showed a lot of poise in the second half. April (Traylor) really stepped up. It was just a tremendous effort for her first game of her collegiate career. I thought Tamara (Gracey) did a nice job for us on the boards and played very steady. We didn’t get her the ball as much as I would have liked, but she was still a consistent force for us.”
Florida State is now 17-9 overall in season-openers and 4-2 in away season-openers. The Tribe will host No. 2 Louisiana Tech in its home-opener on Thursday, November 19th at 7 p.m. at the Leon County Civic Center.