Dec. 28, 2004
MISSOULA, Mt. – Florida State junior Ganiyat Adeduntan and sophomore Alicia Gladden combined for over half of the Tribe’s total points and each recorded a double-double performance, as the Seminoles defeated Louisville (8-4), 69-54, and improved to a program-best 12-0 in the first round of the Lady Griz Holiday Classic on the campus of the University of Montana Tuesday night.
The Seminoles will face host Montana Wednesday evening at 9:00 p.m. eastern in the championship game.
“In the first half we were really fatigue,” said head coach Sue Semrau, “so I challenged the team at halftime to really fight through that fatigue. We talked about the reward on the other end of that fight and I thought we fought longer than Louisville. They were a great team and the best we’ve faced. I’m really proud of the effort we put forth tonight.”
Adeduntan tallied a season and game-high 22 points along with 12 boards, and Gladden recorded 16 points and 11 rebounds, respectively, to lead four Seminoles in double-figure scoring. Senior Roneeka Hodges and junior Holly Johnson pitched in 11 points each to the FSU offense.
“Ganiyat Adeduntan did a tremendous job all-around,” said Semrua. “She defended well and had 22 points and 12 rebounds. I don’t know what else we could have asked of her tonight. She stepped up and without LaQuinta Neely playing tonight, we weren’t deep. I thought she and Alicia [Gladden] put forth a tremendous fight on both ends.”
It took the entire first half and four minutes into the second before the Seminoles found its rhythm and FSU took its first lead of the contest with 16:44 remaining in the game when Gladden netted a jumper for the 41-40 advantage. Prior to that shot, the Cardinals clearly controlled the tempo of the game and led by as much as seven points in the first half before the Seminoles closed the gap to two points and were down 29-31 at the break.
“Our game plan after halftime,” commented Semrau, “was to defend the high-low look and to go inside. In order to go inside you have to reverse [the ball] so I told the girls to be patient. We only turned it over five times in the second half and for a team that is playing a lot of minutes, I thought that was a pretty good job.”
Louisville held the 38-33 advantage with 17:59 left on the clock before Adeduntan sunk a 3-pointer that sparked a 14-4 Seminole run, including five straight points from Gladden, that gave FSU the 47-42 gain with 13:12 remaining. The Cardinals would sneak within one-point, 48-49, but the Tribe never allowed them any closer as it raced away, 69-54.
Florida State shot 48.3 percent in the game while Louisville managed a 41.4 mark. The Seminoles converted 18 points off of the Cardinals’ 14 turnovers.
Johnson contributed a game-high seven assists and Hodges had six rebounds and two blocks. Tonight was Hodges’ tenth consecutive game she scored in double-figures.
Louisville’s Jazz Convington paced the Cardinals with 21 points.
“This is a very challenging and competitive tournament,” said Semrau, when addressed about the competition her team will face Wednesday night. “First of all, you are dealing with the altitude and you’ve got a home crowd atmosphere that is just phenomenal. Tournaments are so important to prepare you for the end of the year and you’ve got to understand tournament play. It will be a great match-up for us against Montana tomorrow evening.”