Nov. 23, 2003
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State women’s basketball team got its 2003-04 season underway in a big way with a 107-28 victory over Savannah State on Sunday afternoon at the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center. The Seminoles jumped out to a 41-0 start and led 54-3 at halftime on their way to the 79-point victory. Led by senior Tasheika Allen’s 23 points, five Seminoles recorded double figures in the win. The Tribe will not have long to celebrate the monumental victory, however, as FSU will head to No. 1 Connecticut for a meeting with the defending national champion Huskies on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Hartford, Conn.
“We talked about really coming into this game sharp knowing obviously what’s ahead on Tuesday,” head coach Sue Semrau said. “I thought that we came out and had some really good looks at the bucket and we knocked them down early. In addition to the defensive effort on the other side of the court, making those shots was really critical in getting us off to a great start.”
Florida State set an NCAA record in the first half, holding Savannah State to just three points. The previous record for fewest points scored by a Division I team was eight points by Liberty on January 27, 2001. The Tribe played 15:22 seconds of shutout basketball as Allen hit a three-pointer to open the game and the Seminoles never looked back. FSU had a 41-0 lead before the Tigers scored their first point at the 4:38 mark. All 13 Seminoles saw action in the first half. Allen played just seven minutes but led all scorers with 13 points as she scored 11 of the game’s first 13 points. FSU shot 54 percent from the field and outrebounded Savannah State, 29-15. The Tigers went 1-for-21 (4.5), including 1-for-7 from the free throw line, and committed 21 turnovers.
Savannah State opened the second half with a three-pointer and shot an improved 34 percent in the final 20 minutes of the game. The Seminoles just kept rolling in the second half, shooting 58 percent from field and continuing their rebounding dominance. All 13 Florida State players saw at least 13 minutes of playing time for the game. Freshman point guard Shante Williams, who made her first career college start, played a team-high 20 minutes and had seven points and a team-high seven assists and five steals with just one turnover. Joining Allen in the double figure scoring department were junior Genesis Choice (12), freshman Ronalda Pierce (12), senior Trinetta Moore (11) and junior Linnea Liljestrand (11). Led by team-high eight rebounds by Pierce and sophomore Hannah Linquist, FSU outrebounded Savannah State, 55-25.
“In the second half, one of the things that we challenged our players to do was to keep focused because it’s going to be a completely different kind of focus on Tuesday night when we go up to UConn and there’s 16,000 people there,” Semrau said. “Therefore, we wanted to challenge ourselves not to look at the scoreboard and try to stay strong in our system. I thought everybody came in for the first game and did a nice job of playing their role.”
The last time Florida State reached the 100-point plateau was on December 19, 1999 at Loyola. The last time FSU scored 100 or more points at home was in a 112-101 overtime loss to North Carolina on December 5, 1998. The Tribe’s 107 points is the third most points an FSU women’s basketball team has ever scored while the 79-point margin of victory ranks second all-time at FSU. The contest marks program’s 22nd 100-point game.
All the records don’t mean much to Allen, who has her sights set on the Seminoles’ next game at UConn.
“I didn’t look at the scoreboard at all until the end just because if you look at it, you can have a tendency to slack off,” Allen said. “I’ve already forgotten about this game. I’m worried about UConn now. It’s a big victory and we got a lot of people in and got them experience but we’re going to need people coming off the bench and stepping up when we go up to UConn.”
Tuesday’s contest will be the second meeting between Florida State and Connecticut. The Huskies defeated FSU 74-55 last season in Tallahassee.