November 21, 2003 - by
Women’s Basketball To Open Season On Sunday At 1 p.m.

Nov. 21, 2003

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The Florida State women’s basketball team will tip off the 2003-04 season vs. Savannah State on Sunday, November 25th at 1 p.m. at the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center. FSU and Savannah State meet for the first time since 1974-75 when then-Savannah College defeated the Seminoles by a score of 70-48. The Tigers play at Alabama State on Friday, November 21st before heading to Tallahassee.


The Seminoles began practice on October 18th and have been successful in the preseason with victories over Premier Players (93-84) and Team Concept (89-43) in exhibition action. Still, according to senior team co-captain Tasheika Allen, there’s nothing like a first game.


“I’m nervous, simply because I get nervous at the start of every season,” Allen said. “But I’m really excited with the depth and talent that we have and I feel good about how we are going to do this year. For as many practices as we’ve had, I feel like we are doing really well. Our new girls are coming along and picking it up. Our experienced players are showing the new girls the ropes and we are really coming along.”


The Seminoles are 21-8 overall in season-openers and have a 19-4 mark in home-openers since 1980-81. Under Sue Semrau, the Seminoles are 6-0 in season-openers and 5-1 in home-openers with the only blemish occurring in 1998 when FSU fell 88-72 to Louisiana Tech.


“I feel good about our depth,” Semrau said. “I feel really good about how we are developing. In our practices, we’ve been going really hard and we are at a point in the year where we’re anxious to get going and get games started. Obviously your first game of the year is not going to be your best game of the year, at least you hope not. You want to continue to grow throughout the course of the season and I feel like we are prepared to come out strong on Sunday. We are just looking forward to opening the season.”


With 10 letter winners, including four starters, returning from last season, and five highly-touted newcomers, Semrau has a luxury of depth that she hasn’t necessary had in previous seasons.


“The biggest difference between this year and last year is our depth,” Semrau said. “The fact that we can substitute and there’s not any drop off means that when the players are in the game, they can go hard without worrying about saving themselves for late in the game. I think that frees them up to be more who we want to be when they know they don’t have to play 35 minutes.”


In the two exhibition games, Florida State averaged 91.0 points per game and fourdifferent Seminoles recorded double figures, so Semrau expects an improvement in the offensive production of the team. However, defense will remain a staple of the FSU program and it needs to start against Savannah State.


“We really need to be sharp,” Semrau said, “sharp on the defensive end and play with a lot of heart and a lot of passion to open up our year. For us, defense is going to start us going on the offensive end. We want to run, so we really have to get after it on the defensive end of the floor. For a first game, I am looking for us to play every possession hard and to come out and give Savannah State fits on the defensive end of the floor.”


Come Sunday, it will be 13 days since the Seminoles last saw the playing floor as the team’s final exhibition game was on November 10th.


“It’s been a little hard because it has been so long since we’ve played,” Semrau said. “We are fortunate as females that we can have a male scout team. They came in and we played a full game against them which will give us some added game experience going into Sunday. Practice is about sharpening up and creating good habits that we have started to form.”


Following Sunday’s game, the Seminoles will get set to depart for Hartford, Conn., on Monday morning. Florida State will face defending national champion Connecticut on Tuesday, November 25th. While that will be a big game for the Florida State program, the Seminoles are not looking ahead.


“Coach Sue is reminding us that we need to take it one game at a time and we are really focused on Savannah State right now,” Allen said. “I am excited to see just how hard we play and how tough we are on Sunday.”


“I think it’s important that we have a good showing on Sunday,” Semrau said, “because if we come out and play a sloppy ball game, we’re not going to feel as good about ourselves going up to Connecticut as we would if we come out and play sharp and are running on all cylinders. It’s a real important tune up for us to go out and get off to a good start.”


GAME ONE
FLORIDA STATE VS. SAVANNAH STATE
November 23, 2003 - 1 p.m.
Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center
WFLA Radio - www.seminoles.com

THE STORYLINE
Florida State and Savannah State meet for the first time since the 1974-75 season when then-Savannah College defeated the Seminoles by a score of 70-48. Sunday’s game is the season-opener for the Seminoles. FSU is 21-8 all-time in season-openers and 19-4 in home openers dating back to the 1980-81 season.

FSU STARTERS
G  #22 Shante Williams
G  #2  LaQuinta Neely
G  #33 Tasheika Allen
C  #5  Trinetta Moore
F  #44 Lauren Bradley


BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
While the Seminoles began their exhibition season earlier than ever, Sunday’s game vs. Savannah State on November 23rd will mark the latest date a Sue Semrau-coached FSU team has started a season. Last year, the Tribe opened the season on Nov. 22nd. November 23rd is the latest season-opener since 1995-96 when FSU opened at Florida Atlantic on Nov. 27, 1995.


CAPTAINS
Seniors Tasheika Morris and Lauren Bradley have been chosen team captains by their teammates this season.


NEW NAME, SAME TASHEIKA
Tasheika Allen (formerly Morris) married long-time boyfriend Ben Allen on August 1st in Huntsville, Alabama. Ben and Tasheika met at the University of Tennessee. Both moved to Tallahassee when Tasheika transferred to FSU. Now Ben’s career is on target as well as he is a football player for Florida A&M. Allen, who led FSU in scoring last season at 15.1 ppg, averaged 18.0 ppg in the two exhibiitons.


SENIOR DISCOUNT?
Made up of two sixth-year seniors in Trinetta Moore and Angela Sutton and fifth-year seniors Tasheika Allen and Lauren Bradley, Florida State may just have the nation’s oldest senior class. Moore was granted a sixth year of eligibility for a pregnancy year while Sutton, who left school for two seasons and spent time in the Navy, will be in her final season. Allen is in her fifth year after transferring while Bradley had a redshirt year.


GIVE ME MOORE
Trinetta Moore tied her career high with 21 points vs. Premier Players in FSU’s first exhibition game. The senior was a perfect 7-for-7 in the first half and finished the game 10-for-12 for 83 percent shooting. She led FSU last year in field goal percentage at 54 percent and shot 74 percent in the two exhibition games.


SCORING MACHINE
The 93 points the Seminoles scored against PremierPlayers in the first exhibition was the most points the women’s basketball team has scored since December 7, 2001 when the Tribe topped Jacksonville, 97-51. Six different Seminoles scored nine or more points in the Premier game. All 13 Seminoles dressed to play scored in the Team Concept game as the Seminoles scored 89 points. Through the two exhibitions, FSU is averaging 91 points per game. FSU averaged just 65.1 ppg last season. The most FSU has ever averaged in a season was 83.8 ppg in 1990-91. Over the past six years, Sue Semrau-coached FSU teams have averaged 69.1 ppg.

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