Dec. 9, 2001
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Senior April Traylor and freshman Linnea Liljestrand scored 15 points apiece to give the FSU women’s basketball team its fourth straight victory with a 78-42 win over Central Florida (5-3) Sunday afternoon at the Leon County Civic Center. All 13 Seminoles played for the second straight game as Florida State improves to 8-1 on the season.
“I’m proud of this team, because this is our fourth game in seven days and it’s hard with finals on your mind,” FSU Head Coach Sue Semrau said. “I was really proud of their (FSU players) second half effort. I thought Central Florida came out with a lot of effort in the first half and maybe out-hustled us to start the game. To their credit, they are much, much improved team from last year.”
The Seminoles went on a 16-1 run in the final 7:20 of the first half to erase a four-point deficit and take a 33-22 advantage into the locker room. UCF started the half strong and took its first lead at 7-6 at the 16:17 mark. The Golden Knights built a lead of six points at 18-12 with just over ten minutes remaining but were then held to just four points the rest of the half. The Seminoles regained the lead at 22-21 with 5:25 on the clock and led the rest of the way. FSU shot just 39 percent from the field and had a 22-20 edge on the boards. UCF committed 14 turnovers and shot just 28 percent for the half. FSU’s five starters accounted for 31 of the Tribe’s 33 points and were led by Shinikki Whiting’s nine points and five rebounds.
Florida State played much better all together in the second half. The Seminoles shot 50 percent in the final 20 minutes and dominated the rebounding effort to finish the game with a 48-38 advantage. Liljestrand scored all 15 of her points in the second half and hit three of FSU’s four three-pointers in the contest. Junior Katelyn Vujas also had a strong second half, scoring nine points and grabbing six of her team-high eight rebounds. Whiting finished the game with double figures with 11 points. For the second straight game, the Florida State bench saw significant minutes and contributed 32 points.
“Not only did I think our defensive effort was much more impressive in the second half, but so was our offensive effort,” Semrau said. “We were a little more patient, took very good shots and concentrated and focused on whatever it was going to take to hit the shots, rather than just take them. We’re real pleased and now we have a week off to rest, get our finals taken care of and head up to Auburn.”
UCF was led by Erin Paige who had 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Ali Roberts added 13 points but the Golden Knights shot just 28 percent from the field and had 29 turnovers.
The Seminoles will take the week off from action for final exams and will return to action on Sunday, December 16 with a 2 p.m. contest at Auburn.