Dec. 18, 2002
Fresh off its 71-51 win at Jacksonville, the Florida State women’s basketball team will leave for Flagstaff, Arizona on Thursday to prepare for a 7:05 p.m. tilt with Northern Arizona on Saturday, December 21st. The Seminoles are 7-1 overall and are winners of five straight games, including three straight road wins. NAU is 4-4 overall. The game can be heard on WFLA AM 1270 in the Tallahassee area or by accessing www.seminoles.com.
Saturday’s contest will be the first meeting between Florida State and Northern Arizona, a member of the Big Sky Conference. FSU is 1-0 all-time vs. current members of the Big Sky Conference with an 89-66 win over Montana State on December 7, 1991 in Tallahassee in the Dial Classic.
Florida State emphasizes defense and through their first eight games, the Seminoles are averaging 41.1 rebounds and 12.1 steals per game. Here’s a statistical comparison between FSU and NAU:
FSU PER GAME NAU 75.1 points 67.2 .451 fg % .447 .303 3-pt fg % .364 .699 ft % .713 41.4 rebounds 37.8 12.4 assists 14.9 19.6 turnovers 19.0 12.1 steals 8.3 3.4 blocks 3.3
The Northern Arizona game will be FSU’s last contest before the Seminoles go home for the Christmas holiday. One Seminole won’t have far to go. Freshman Holly Johnson hails from Phoenix, Arizona and was a standout at Mountain Pointe High School. She’s the only member of the FSU squad who hails from the West Coast. FSU’s 12-woman roster includes players from eight different states and two countries.
NAU is coming off of a 17-11 record in 2001-02. Of FSU’s nine opponents so far this season, six are coming off of seasons with winning records.
AGAINST THE WEST:
Florida State is 11-6 all-time and 4-0 in the Semrau era* vs. teams from out West. The Seminoles have played:
Arizona State 0-1 Brigham Young 1-1 California 0-1 Cal St.-Fullerton 1-0* Colorado 1-0 Colorado State 1-0 Denver 1-0 Fresno State 1-0 Idaho 0-1 Long Beach St. 1-0* Montana State 1-0 New Mexico State 1-0 Oregon State 0-1 Pepperdine 1-1* St. Mary's 1-0*
IN GAMES BEFORE CHRISTMAS:
In the Sue Semrau era, the Seminoles are 4-1 in games right before Christmas, with their only loss coming at the hands of Southwest Missouri State (68-57) on Dec. 21, 1997. Since 1980-81, FSU is 14-8 in games right before Christmas.
The Seminoles have now shot better than 50 percent in two games this season – both wins. In the season-opener, the Tribe shot a season-high 53 percent vs. Alabama State and shot 52 percent in the win at Jacksonville.
AT LEAST THREE:
FSU has had at least three players score in double figures in seven games this season. Against Wright State, four Seminoles recorded double-digit points.
Sophomore LaQuinta Neely, who leads the team with 23 steals this season, snagged a career-high seven steals in the Jacksonville win. She’s had four or more steals in three games this year.
NO MORE SHAQ SYNDROME:
The Seminoles shot a season-high 89 percent (16-18) from the free throw line in the win at Jacksonville – well above their 68 percent shooting coming into the game. In the last three games, FSU has shot 78 percent from the charity stripe on 58-for-74, after shooting 65 percent through its first five games.
TAKIN’ CARE OF IT:
FSU committed a season-low 12 turnovers in the Jacksonville game while recording 18 steals – its second best effort of the year. Last year, the Seminoles had a season-low 11 turnovers in the third game of the season in a 99-66 win.
SECOND TIME FOR GEN:
Genesis Choice led all scorers with 15 points in the Jacksonville win. She also led the team with six rebounds. In both games that Choice has led the team in scoring, she’s also led the team in rebounding.
FSU’s 82-78 win at South Florida was the program’s first road win in nearly a year. Prior to USF, Florida State’s last road win was a 78-68 victory at IUPUI on December 21, 2001. FSU’s win at Jacksonville marked the first time the Seminoles have won three straight away games since 1990-91. That year, FSU defeated Florida (12/17), Miami (12/19) and Virginia Tech (1/7). If FSU wins at Northern Arizona, it will mark the first time the Tribe has won four straight away games since the 1989-90 season. FSU did win tfour straight road games back in 1999-2000, but one of those wins was at a neutral site.