April 23, 2009 - by
Year in Review: The 2008-09 FSU Women’s Basketball Season

April 23, 2009




SECOND MOST WINS … EVER!

Florida State’s 27 wins in the 2008-09 season rank second-best in program history and are the most wins since the 1981-82 season when the Seminoles finished 28-10. Since 1973-74 when season records were kept, FSU has recorded eight 20-win seasons, including four of the last five seasons, and only Sue Semrau has led a team to this feat more than twice as she’s done so four times.

 

FSU’S 20-WIN SEASONS:

1981-82       28-10      Jan Dykehouse-Allen

1982-83       24-6        Jan Dykehouse-Allen

1989-90       21-9        Marynell Meadors

1990-91       25-7        Marynell Meadors

2004-05       24-8         Sue Semrau

2005-06       20-10       Sue Semrau

2006-07       24-10       Sue Semrau

2008-09       27-7         Sue Semrau

 

SEVENTH-STRAIGHT POSTSEASON APPEARANCE

Playing beyond the regular season is becoming a rite of passage at Florida State and not an infrequent occurrence. The Seminoles’ selection to play in the 2009 NCAA Tournament was their fifth Big Dance in a row and the program’s seventh-straight postseason bid. Prior to the start of the run of five-straight NCAA Tournaments, Florida State played in a pair of WNITs. This season marked FSU’s eighth postseason tournament appearance under head coach Sue Semrau and their sixth NCAA bid under her coaching guidance.

 

HIGHEST SEED EVER

The Seminoles were rewarded for their hard work this season as they entered the 2009 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament boasting the highest seed in program history at No. 3. Prior to this season, FSU’s highest ever seeding was No. 5. The team earned that seeding twice when the NCAA field was just 48 teams – first in 1983 and then once more in 1991.

 

TIED FOR FIRST PLACE IN THE ACC

Despite being picked to finish fifth in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the FSU women’s basketball team earned a tie for first place in the ACC regular-season for the first time in program history. FSU shared the regular-season championship with Maryland after both teams finished with a 12-2 record in ACC play.

 

NEW SCHOOL RECORD FOR ACC WINS

Florida State’s 12 ACC wins in the regular season are the most in the history of the program. Prior to this season, FSU had twice earned 10 ACC wins – in the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons. Before Sue Semrau’s arrival in 1997-98, the Seminoles’ most ACC wins in a season were eight in 1991-92, FSU’s first season in the league, and the Seminoles had never had a season above .500 in ACC play. Semrau has now led the Seminoles to five winning seasons in conference play.

 

205 AND SHE’s STILL GOING

In her 12th season at the helm of the Florida State women’s basketball program, head coach Sue Semrau earned career win No. 200 in FSU’s Feb. 13 game; a thrilling 77-70 defeat of No. 8 North Carolina. Semrau is already used to making a little magic happen at FSU as she became the program’s winningest coach in her ninth season on Feb. 19, 2006 when the Seminoles defeated Clemson 80-72 in overtime. She has guided FSU to double-digit victories in nine-straight seasons and to five-straight NCAA Tournaments and six overall. Her current coaching record is 205-160.  No other coach in FSU women’s basketball history has coached more than 10 years with the Seminoles.

 

TIED SCHOOL RECORD FOR RANKED WINS

By defeating No. 8 North Carolina in February, the Seminoles tied the school record for most wins over a ranked opponent in a season with five. The last time that the Seminoles had that many wins over ranked teams occurred during the 1992-93 season. FSU also earned victories this year over No. 3 Texas A&M, No. 25 Georgia Tech, No. 14 Virginia, and No. 3 Duke.

 

MOST WINS EVER OVER TOP-10 TEAMS

FSU set a program record this season by beating three top-10 opponents: No. 3 Texas A&M, No. 3 Duke and No. 8 UNC – all at home.

 

SEMRAU IS THE ACC COACH OF THE YEAR

Sue Semrau was named the 2009 Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year. In addition to tying for first place in the ACC and earning the most conference wins ever, Semrau guided a team that set school records this year for most wins over top-10 opponents (three), highest national rankings (No. 11 AP poll and No. 12 USA Today/ESPN poll) and highest ACC Tournament seed (No. 2 seed). She was also named the WBCA Region 2 Coach of the Year.

 

ACC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM HONORS

After averaging 17.0 and 16.0 points per game in two games, respectively, seniors Tanae Davis-Cain and Mara Freshour were named to the 2009 ACC All-Tournament Second Team, marking the first time in program history that two Seminoles have earned such an honor in the same season.

 

DAVIS-CAIN, FRESHOUR MAKE HISTORY

Seniors Tanae Davis-Cain and Mara Freshour became the first players in program history to play in four-straight NCAA Tournaments. The duo also led Florida State to its highest national ranking and to a first-place finish in the ACC regular-season – also a program-first – and finished their careers ranking first and second, respectively, at FSU in three-pointers made.

 

FRESHOUR SETS A TOUGH-TO-BREAK RECORD

Mara Freshour’s final game donning the garnet and gold was a record-breaker as she officially moved into sole position of first place on the all-time games-played list. The Nashville, Ind., native’s 131 games played is one more than previous record-holder Glenda Stokes’ 130 games played.

 

THREE NAMED TO ALL-ACC TEAMS

The Seminoles finished tied with UNC for most All-ACC selections this year as junior forward Jacinta Monroe was named to the second team and senior guards Mara Freshour and Tanae Davis-Cain were placed on the third team. This season marks the 12th-straight season that a Seminole player has been named to an All-ACC team.

 

MONROE NAMED TO ACC ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM

The ACC coaches began picking an ACC All-Defensive Team in 2000 and an FSU player has been among the five-member team in six of the nine years, including Jacinta Monroe who earned the honor this season in addition to being named to the All-ACC Second Team. During the regular season, Monroe paced FSU with team bests in rebounds (7.8 rpg) and blocks (2.5 bpg) all while leading the Seminoles with 13.1 ppg on the offensive end.

 

MONROE: GREATEST FSU SHOT-BLOCKER EVER

Jacinta Monroe officially became the greatest shot-blocker in Florida State history during her junior season. FSU’s 6-foot-4 post-player dominated on defense as she set the FSU record for most blocks in a season with 84, surpassing former Seminole Brooke Wyckoff’s previous record of 80. Monroe also moved to No. 1 all-time on the career blocks list as her 225 swats during her three-year career is a school best. Her nine-block performance in the mid-season win over a ranked Georgia Tech squad will forever live in Seminole lore as one of the greatest individual performances by an FSU women’s basketball player.

 

BRAVARD NAMED TO ACC ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM

True freshman center Cierra Bravard was named to the All-ACC Rookie Team after starting 15 games in the regular season and playing in all 34. The Sandusky, Ohio native averaged a team fourth-best 9.7 ppg and finished third on the team with 4.8 rpg in the regular season. Since joining the ACC in 1992, FSU has had eight players earn ACC All-Freshman team honors.

WARD FROM LONG DISTANCE

In addition to getting her teammates involved on a regular basis, Courtney Ward made her presence felt from behind the arc this season. Ward finished with 37 makes from long distance this year. Her proficiency behind the three-point line has been some of the best the program has ever seen. She concluded her sophomore campaign shooting an even .500 (37-for-74) from behind the arc and is now .423 (66-for-156) for her career. That places her first on both the single-season and career lists in FSU history.

 

Season three-point FG% (min 20 made)   

1. Courtney Ward, 2008-09 .500 (34 games)

2. Robin Storey, 1988-89        .475 (27 games)

3. Mara Freshour, 2007-08 .429 (33 games)   

Career three-point FG%

1. Courtney Ward, 2007-pres .423 (67 games)

2. Robin Storey, 1987-89       .414 (54 games)

3. Mara Freshour, 2005-09 .396 (131 games)

 

DAVIS-CAIN BREAKS FRESHOUR’S RECORD

Senior guard Tanae Davis-Cain made 12 three-pointers in the postseason and finished with a grand total of 77 triples made during her final season. That total breaks fellow senior guard  Mara Freshour’s FSU single-season high of 66 triples made in a season – a record she had set last year.

 

PERFECT ON THE ROAD IN THE ACC

FSU earned a school-record seven ACC road wins this season and was undefeated in league road games. The previous high for conference road wins was six back in the 2006-07 season. FSU has had a winning ACC road record just four times since joining the league in 1991-92 and those have been in four of the last five seasons.

 

UNBLEMISHED ON THE ROAD IN “AWAY” GAMES

It’s not easy to win on the road but don’t tell that to FSU. For the first time ever, the Seminoles finished with a perfect record in road games by going 10-0. Florida State and eventual National Champion UConn were the only women’s basketball teams in the country that finished undefeated in an opponent’s home gym.

 

SENIORS both OVER 1,000 POINTS

Senior guards Tanae Davis-Cain and Mara Freshour both joined an elite club during their final season in Tallahassee. That’s because both became the 22nd and 23rd players in FSU history to surpass the 1,000-point scoring plateau during a career. Davis-Cain finished with 1,262 career points and Freshour with 1,128 points in her career.

WARD NO. 2 IN ASSISTS IN A SEASON

With an ACC-best 144 assists in the regular season, sophomore point guard Courtney Ward added 26 more in the postseason to move to second all-time at FSU for most assists in a single season. The all-time single-season record in the category at FSU is 184 assists set by Shirley Silsby in the 1976-77 season. Ward finished the year tied for first in the ACC in total assists with 170.

 

Assists in a Season

FSU Record:            1. Shirley Silsby        184

                             2. Courtney Ward    170

 

COACH SUE AND SAMARITAN’S FEET

In 2003, the organization Samaritan’s Feet was started with the goal to provide 10 million pairs of shoes for 10 million impoverished people in 10 years and Florida State women’s basketball head coach Sue Semrau wanted to help the cause. When the Seminoles hosted UNC, Semrau and members of her staff coached the game in their bare feet to raise awareness for Samaritan’s Feet. Semrau is one of the first female coaches to get involved in the project. When FSU defeated the Tar Heels on Feb. 13, 242 pairs of new shoes were collected.

 

FRESHOUR RECEIVES HONORS

While helping guide her team to one of the greatest seasons in school history, Florida State senior guard Mara Freshour kept the same on-court focus and determination going in the classroom. For the second year in a row, Freshour was named a CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District III Second-Team selection. Boasting a 3.65 grade point average, Freshour is the first two-time recipient to receive this recognition in FSU history. Freshour also was given the 2009 Golden ‘Nole Award, which is presented to the person on each FSU sport team who has exhibited the ideals of intercollegiate athletics. Head coaches select these student-athletes by evaluating athletic and academic success as well as their contribution to service to the university and in the community.

 

BEST FG% AMONG ACC ROOKIES

In addition to finishing the season as the third-leading scorer, fifth-leading rebounder and second in blocked shots per game among freshman players in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Cierra Bravard led the way in field goal percentage. The Sandusky, Ohio native’s FSU-best 57.8 shooting percentage for the season ranked No. 1 for all first-year players in the conference and was No. 2 among every player, freshman to senior.

 

A FINAL LOOK AT THE STAT RANKINGS

While Cierra Bravard finished in the top two in the Atlantic Coast Conference in field goal percentage and Courtney Ward finished tied for first in the conference in assists and first overall in three-point shooting percentage, a few other Seminoles were among the league leaders in certain categories. Mara Freshour finished the season ranked No. 3 in free-throw shooting percentage and fifth in three-point shooting percentage. Jacinta Monroe finished the season second in the conference in total blocked shots and eighth in total rebounds. Tanae Davis-Cain’s school-record 77 triples was fifth-best in the ACC.

 

SEASON-TICKET SALES UP 63 PERCENT

Make no mistake about it, college basketball at Florida State University is getting more and more popular each season. The FSU marketing office reported that with a school-record 1,819 women’s basketball season tickets sales for the 2008-09 season, the Seminoles sold 63 percent more seats than they did a season ago. The previous high for season tickets was 1,119 during the 2006-07 season.

 

SEMINOLES Sign Talented 2009 Prospect

The Seminoles will lose Mara Freshour, Tanae Davis-Cain and Cayla Moore to graduation but a talented prospect is set to join the Seminole family. FSU head coach Sue Semrau announced the signing of 6-foot-3 forward Chelsea Davis – a post player from Middletown, Delaware – to a national letter of intent. Davis has been one of the top girl’s high school basketball players in the entire northeast since she burst onto the scene two years ago. Davis is ranked as the 35th-best post-player prospect in the entire country, according to Hoopgurlz.

 

NEW SCHOOL RECORD FOR ATTENDANCE

Despite coming away with a loss, the Florida State women’s basketball team set a new standard for attendance in the final home game of the season against Virginia. Breaking the previous school record for attendance of 6,309 fans that attended the win over North Carolina just a few games prior, 6,419 Seminoles packed the Donald L. Tucker Center on Senior Night 2009.

 

MORE ON THE HOME ATTENDANCE

The 2008-09 season marked the first time in FSU women’s basketball history that the total combined attendance for each home game reached over 40,000 spectators.

 

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