February 8, 2009 - by
Florida State Stays Undefeated on the Road with 75-59 Victory at Miami

Feb. 8, 2009

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CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The No. 15/19 Florida State women’s basketball team defeated in-state rival Miami, 75-59, Sunday afternoon at the Bank United Center in Coral Cables, Fla. to stay undefeated in road games this season.

The Seminoles are now 20-5 overall, 8-1 in the conference, and a perfect 8-0 in opponents’ gyms while the Hurricanes fell to 12-11 overall and just 1-7 in league play. FSU has now won seven-straight over Miami and 12 of the last 13. The eight wins in the ACC is the fastest the team has achieved that many league victories in program history.

Sunday’s outcome also means that Seminoles coach Sue Semrau now boasts a 199-157 career record. FSU’s 12th-year head coach will have the opportunity to achieve victory No. 200 at home in a battle of top-15 teams as the No. 8/9 North Carolina Tar Heels travel to Tallahassee for an ACC showdown on Friday.

“North Carolina is a very talented basketball team,” Semrau said following the win over Miami. “They are just like Duke and Maryland. They are going to be really tough to defend and we have to come to play.”

Against the Hurricanes, senior guard Tanae Davis-Cain led all Seminole players with 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting while sophomore guard Courtney Ward accrued five assists to go with 11 points.

Junior forwards Jacinta Monroe and Alysha Harvin – both South Florida natives playing in front of friends and family – scored in double figures as they registered 10 and 13 points, respectively. Monroe also had seven rebounds and two blocks and Harvin tied her career-high with two blocks and six rebounds of her own.

“It’s fun knowing that I have friends and family here supporting us,” Harvin said. “It just felt good to come down here and win in front of all of them.”

Sophomore guard Christian Hunnicutt came off the bench to contribute eight points – her highest offensive output in 13 games this season. True freshman Cierra Bravard scored nine points.

For the game, FSU shot just 39.7-percent from the field but more than made up for it from the free-throw line. The Seminoles shot a season-high 90.5-percent from the charity stripe – well above their season average of 66 percent.

“They were a little bit more relaxed when they were shooting those free throws,” Semrau said. “They shot them with more looseness in their shoulders and they weren’t tight. I think the reps we do in practice really contributed to that.”

The Hurricanes answered a small FSU run early in the second period by scoring 12-straight points to tie the score at 40-40 before Ward hit a 3-pointer with 13:25 on the clock to end the Seminoles’ scoring skid.

Ward’s clutch shot from long range helped spark an FSU 11-1 run that built a 51-41 score in favor of the Seminoles with just over 10 minutes to play in regulation. The Hurricanes kept it competitive the rest of the ballgame but never could get closer than 59-54 score.

It wasn’t easy, but the margin of victory was the highest since FSU defeated Miami 79-54 during the 2005-06 season.

“Every time we play somebody in-state, it’s always tough,” Harvin said. “We have to come out with extra fight in those games.”

Miami was led by freshman Shenise Johnson’s 20 points.

Behind Davis-Cain’s 14 first-half points, the Seminoles took a 34-24 lead into the locker room at halftime. Harvin also had seven points in the opening period.

FSU now has five days off before their next game. With a win against UNC at the Donald L. Tucker Center, not only would the Seminoles give Semrau her 200th career victory but they would also tie the school record for most wins over a ranked opponent in a season with five. The last time FSU achieved that feat was in the 1992-93 season.

Semrau and her staff will coach the game against the Tar Heels barefooted in support of Samaritan’s Feet. Fans that plan to attend the game can donate slightly-used or new shoes for free admission.

Friday’s tip-off is slated for 6:30 p.m. and will be broadcast regionally on RSN.

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