Feb. 18, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A strong second half effort on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball charged the Florida State Seminoles to a 68-61 victory over visiting Miami Friday night at the Donald L. Tucker Center. With the victory, FSU improved to 16-8 overall and the Seminoles’ 7-4 ACC record puts them in a solid fourth place in the league. FSU earned its first sweep over Miami, now 15-10, 5-7 ACC, after handing the `Canes a 25-point loss in Coral Gables just over a week ago.
“I felt like we got our team back in the second half, even the last five minutes of the first half,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “The team that we all know. The team that defends. It was a team defensive effort. I also thought Alicia (Gladden) came out in the second half with a different kind of desire and got her fifth double-double. It just shows what kind of player she is. Holly (Johnson) is, once again, steady eddy for us and somebody I can count on for 39 minutes a game. Again, I felt like the difference in the game was rebounding.”
Senior guard Holly Johnson led the Seminoles with 20 points, including three buckets from long range. Ganiyat Adeduntan chipped in 16 and nabbed seven boards while junior Alicia Gladden earned her fifth double-double of the season with 14 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Gladden scored 12 of her 14 points in the second half.
The Hurricanes had thoughts of revenge on their mind in the first half, holding two of the Seminoles’ top three scorers to a combined four points. FSU trailed by as many as six points twice late in the first half but a 4-0 run put the Seminoles within two points at the break. Johnson and Adeduntan combined for eight of FSU’s last 10 points and the Tribe trailed 32-30 at the intermission.
Led by Gladden, the Seminoles came out inspired in the second half, taking the lead 33-32 on a Johnson three-pointer in the opening seconds of the period. FSU went up five before Miami ran off seven straight to regain the lead at 39-37. Two ties later, Florida State regained the lead on a Gladden free throw at the 15:44 mark and led the remainder of the contest. The charity shots were followed by another three-pointer by Johnson which turned into a 12-0 Seminole run. Adeduntan and Gladden combined for nine of those points. FSU led by 12 at 52-40 with 12:25 remaining and didn’t allow Miami to get any closer than five points and that was with 56 seconds left in the game.
Johnson extended her double figure scoring streak to six games, leading the team in points in the last three wins, including 16 points in the first game against Miami. Adeduntan had her 14th double figure scoring effort of the season while Gladden has contributed at least 10 points in eight consecutive league contests.
Miami’s Tamara James finished the game with 20 points but was held to just six points in the second half. FSU outrebounded the Hurricanes 44-37.
In winning the seventh league game of the year, the Seminoles are just two shy of a program best nine wins in a season. Florida State has reached the seven-win plateau six times since joining the ACC in 1991. Prior to last season’s nine wins, FSU picked up seven wins in 2003-04.
Florida State will make the quick trip to Clemson, S.C., to face the Tigers on Sunday at 3:00 p.m.