December 30, 2008 - by
Seminoles Return Home to Play In-State Foe UCF Wednesday at 2 p.m.

Dec. 30, 2008

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State women’s basketball team will host UCF (2-10) in a New Year’s Eve showdown at the Donald L. Tucker Center Wednesday at 2 p.m.


The Seminoles (10-4) have not played a home game since defeating Mercer on Dec. 14. Since that time, FSU went 1-2 at the Caribbean Classic in Cancun, Mexico and is coming off a thrilling victory over LSU in Baton Rouge, La. on Dec. 28.


Wednesday’s matchup will mark the 15th meeting between FSU and UCF in the history of the two programs.


Year No. 12 Under Semrau

Head coach Sue Semrau is in her 12th season at the helm of the Seminole program. Semrau became FSU’s winningest coach in her ninth season on Feb. 19, 2006 when the Seminoles defeated Clemson 80-72 in overtime. Semrau has a 189-155 career record at FSU. She has guided the Seminoles to double-digit victories in nine-straight seasons and to four-straight NCAA Tournaments and five overall. 



Wednesday’s in-state showdown will mark the 15th time that FSU and UCF will play against each other in the history of the two programs. The Seminoles have dominated the series that dates back over 30 years as they own a 12-2 advantage all time over the Knights. FSU and UCF first met during the 1976-77 season when the Seminoles earned a 77-63 in Tallahassee, Fla. That first win proved to be a sign of things to come as the Seminoles went on to win  four-straight in the series before dropping two ballgames to the Knights. The Seminoles currently boast an eight-game winning streak over UCF. The last time the two teams met was during the 2006-07 season when FSU achieved a 75-66 win on UCF’s home court.



FSU……………………………. PER GAME………………………….. UCF

70.6……………………………….. POINTS…………………………….. 63.7

.430 ………………………………… FG%……………………………….. .370

.353……………………………….. 3 FG%……………………………… .352

.651…………………………………. FT%……………………………….. .669

42.7……………………………. REBOUNDS…………………………… 42.0

12.8………………………………. ASSISTS…………………………….. 10.3

19.3…………………………… TURNOVERS………………………….. 20.8

8.8…………………………………. STEALS………………………………… 8.4

4.0………………………………… BLOCKS………………………………. 1.8



While the Seminoles hold a huge advantage all-time against UCF, FSU’s record against teams currently in Conference USA is nearly even. In total, the Seminoles are 37-33 all-time against UCF’s league. FSU is 1-2 against East Carolina, 5-5 against UAB, 4-16 against Southern Miss, 3-1 against Tulsa, 11-7 against Tulane and 1-0 against Rice.



Florida State is 166-74 all-time against teams from the state of Florida. FSU has played both Florida Gulf Coast and Florida this year as the team defeated the Eagles and fell to the Gators. Prior to losing to UF on Nov. 23, the Seminoles were riding a 15-game win-streak against in-state foes.



So far this season, FSU and UCF have only played one common opponent and that was fellow in-state program Florida Gulf Coast. While FSU handed the Eagles an 81-62 defeat to start the team’s season, the Knights fell to that same squad by a score of 77-74. Other than FGCU, the only teams that both FSU and UCF will play this year are Miami and Wake Forest. UCF has already fallen to both the Hurricanes and Demon Deacons while FSU has yet to face off against those Atlantic Conference foes.



In the Sue Semrau era, the Seminoles are now 7-5 all-time in their first game after the Christmas holidays after defeating LSU 61-57 on Dec. 28.



Turnovers have been an issue for the Seminoles all season long but if the past two games are any indication, it looks like the issue is being corrected. A day after tying their season-high in turnovers with 26 in the upset loss to Washington in the Caribbean Classic, the Seminoles gave the ball away just 16 times against No. 1-ranked UConn – including just five turnovers in the second half of that game. Then, against LSU, FSU went out and had its best game all season long as turnovers are concerned by committing a season-low 12 giveaways against a stingy LSU defense in Baton Rouge, La. After that impressive performance, the Seminoles have cut their average down to 19.3 turnovers per contest – which still leaves a lot of room for improvement. In the Sue Semrau era, FSU averaged 20+ turnovers per game in her first three seasons. In each of her NCAA Tournament seasons, FSU has averaged no more than 18.3 turnovers per game and that was last season.


FSU Turnovers Per Game In Semrau Era

2008-09           19.3

2007-08           18.3     NCAA Tournament

2006-07           16.9     NCAA Tournament

2005-06           15.7     NCAA Tournament

2004-05           16.5     NCAA Tournament

2003-04           17.1

2002-03           18.5

2001-02           17.8

2000-01           17.8     NCAA Tournament

1999-00           21.6

1998-99           21.0

1997-98           24.6    



Backup point guard Courtney Ward provided that added spark the Seminoles needed to defeat LSU in their previous outing. Ward came off the bench against the Tigers to lead FSU with a team-high 12 points with five assists and two steals. The Montgomery, Ala. native was also a perfect 2-for-2 from the 3-point line and made three of her four free-throw attempts in the final moments of that game to preserve the FSU win. Ward’s impressive performance came on the heels of her terrific game against No. 1-ranked UConn. In that game, Ward posted a season-high 14 points and tied her season high with six assists. Ward is currently No. 1 on the team as she is shooting over 50 percent from 3-point range.



Senior guard Tanae Davis-Cain already made a little bit of history this season by officially becoming FSU’s career leader in 3-pointers made and now the Dawson, Ga. native is on the verge of another milestone. With 982 career points, Davis-Cain could reach the 1,000-point plateau with an 18-point performance. Senior guard Mara Freshour also has the opportunity to leave her name in the 3-pointer record books as she moved into sole position of second place on the all-time 3-pointers made list with one against LSU. She currently has 135 career triples while Davis-Cain currently has 149 after making two against the Tigers. In addition to moving up the career list for 3-pointers, Freshour also could reach the 1,000-point mark in her final season at FSU, too. The updated totals are:


Career 3-Pointers

Career Record:             Tanae Davis-Cain       149

                                    Mara Freshour            135

                                    Wendy Hampton          134

1,000-Point Club

Tanae Davis-Cain: 982

Mara Freshour: 876



FSU scoring leader Jacinta Monroe wasn’t her normal dominant self against LSU. The 6-foot-4 post-player finished the game shooting a season-low 18 percent from the field as she made just two of her 11 field goals. But despite the fact that she struggled, Monroe’s mark on the game was definitely felt as she grabbed a defensive rebound in the final seconds of the game and made two free throws with just over three seconds remaining in regulation to officially put the Seminoles over the top against the Tigers.



With her team second-best 10 points in the win over LSU, junior forward Alysha Harvin has now posted double-digit scoring efforts in three-straight games and has achieved that feat in five of FSU’s last seven contests. The Dania, Fla. native has shown that when she is on the court she can leave her mark on the scoring chart as in each of those games in which she has scored in double figures, she has played over 21 minutes on the basketball court. Harvin is now fifth on the team in scoring with a mark of 7.1 ppg.



For the first time in her career, true freshman center Cierra Bravard was held without a field goal in a game as she was just 0-for-3 shooting against LSU. But despite the fact that she wasn’t able to make a shot, the Sandusky, Ohio native still accrued five points by making five of her eight attempts from the free-throw line. Bravard has gone to the charity stripe the second most times of anyone on the FSU roster and is shooting 60 percent from the line.



After being held scoreless in two-straight games against Washington and UConn in Cancun, Mexico at the Caribbean Classic, junior guard Angel Gray ended her scoring drought by posting four points against LSU. Gray is currently averaging 5.6 points on the offensive end while starring on the defensive end for the Seminoles as she leads FSU with 25 total steals this year.



There’s no question that as a senior team captain, Mara Freshour is at her best when she is on the court. And that fact has been reiterated the past three ballgames. With 32 minutes played against LSU, Freshour has now played over 30 minutes in each of the past three games and has played at least that many minutes seven different times this year. The Nashville, Ind. native is averaging a team-high 28.9 minutes per contest.



One game after playing a season-low six minutes in the loss to top-ranked UConn, backup guard Christian Hunnicutt played 17 minutes in the victory over LSU. In that game, Hunnicutt finished with five points and hit her first 3-pointer of the season. She was 0-for-6 from 3-point land prior to the LSU game.



With the loss to No. 1-ranked UConn in the final game for both teams at the Caribbean Classic in Cancun, Mexico, FSU is now 0-8 all-time against teams that boast the nation’s top ranking. Prior to the trip to the Caribbean, the Seminoles had not faced a No. 1-ranked squad since the 2003-04 season when they fell to then top-ranked Duke, 73-60. In fact, the Seminoles have faced off against Duke on three separate occasions when the Blue Devils were ranked No. 1. The Seminoles first-ever game against a top-ranked opponent occurred during the 1983-84 season when No. 1 Texas earned an 89-43 win over FSU. Interestingly enough, FSU and UConn have played against one another in the past when the Huskies possessed a No. 1 ranking. No. 1 UConn defeated FSU 81-53 during the 2003-04 season. FSU is also now just 3-20 all-time against ranked opponents at a neutral site.



Senior guard Tanae Davis-Cain has had an up-and-down final year so far in the garnet and gold. The 5-foot-11 wing player has had memorable performance such as her outing against Temple in which she set the FSU record for most 3-pointers in a career but has also struggled with her shot in other contests. But after being put back into the starting lineup against No. 1 UConn after coming off the bench the previous eight-straight games, Davis-Cain showed just how talented she is and what she is capable of doing each game no matter who the opposition is. Against the Huskies, Davis-Cain registered a season-high 25 points on 9-for-17 shooting from the field. The senior captain was stroking it from long range in that game as she hit five of her nine 3-point attempts.



There’s no doubting that No. 1-ranked UConn is the best team in the country and one of the better women’s college basketball teams ever assembled. But credit the Seminoles with not ever giving up against the nation’s top team. After falling behind 13-0 early on in the showdown between the two programs in Cancun, Mexico, FSU came out strong after the halftime break and actually outscored the Huskies 42-40 in the game’s final 20 minutes.



The Seminoles journey to Cancun, Mexico to take part in the Caribbean Classic along with Connecticut, Northern Colorado and Washington marked the second time this season in which FSU competed in an in-season tournament. Earlier this season, the Seminoles competed in the Coors Rocky Mountain Invitational on the campus of Colorado State in Fort Collins, Colo. during the Thanksgiving holiday. In that tournament, FSU defeated Murray State 85-50 in the opening game but fell to Valparaiso 80-74 in the tournament’s championship contest. After going 1-1 in Colorado and then are 1-2 in Mexico after beating Northern Colorado and losing to Washington and UConn, the Seminoles are 27-12 during in-season tournaments in the Sue Semrau era (since 1997-98 season). The Seminoles have won seven in-season tournaments during Semrau’s tenure – including two during the 2004-05 season.



FSU has played in 24 games now during the week leading up to the Christmas holiday (Dec. 18 to Dec. 25) in the Sue Semrau era and are 12-13 all-time in those games after a win and two losses in Cancun, Mexico.



Due to the fact that junior forward Jacinta Monroe arrived just minutes before tip-off due to travel issues and therefore missed most of pregame warm-ups against Northern Colorado, junior forward Alysha Harvin started in her place. The Dania, Fla. native’s starting nod was her first of the season. Harvin finished the game against the Bears with seven points in 22 minutes of play.



After allowing a late Northern Colorado 3-pointer to cut their lead to seven before the buzzer sounded to signal halftime, the Seminoles came out looking like a different team in the second half. The Bears entered halftime with 23 points compared to FSU’s 30 but the Bears would find that baskets were a premium in the final 20 minutes. By holding Northern Colorado to just 20.3-percent shooting for the game – including a season-low 9.1-percent shooting in the second half – the FSU defense held UNC to just nine points after intermission. The nine-point output was the lowest allowed in a half this year by the Seminoles.



True freshman center Cierra Bravard earned the first double-double of her young career with a 13-pont, 12-rebound performance against Northern Colorado. The 12 rebounds also marks a new career high for the Sandusky, Ohio native. Also, because junior forward Jacinta Monroe had to miss most of pregame warm-ups because of travel issues and therefore couldn’t start, Bravard is the only player on the FSU roster that has started all 14 games this season.



FSU’s journey to Cancun, Mexico to compete in the Caribbean Classic was just the third time ever that the Seminoles have traveled outside the Continental United States to play basketball during the regular season. Both of FSU’s previous trips across country lines were to San Juan Puerto Rico to compete in the San Juan Shootout during the 1994-95 and 2004-05 seasons. The Seminoles competed in three games during that in-season tournament in 1994 and lost each contest to Texas Tech, Southern Illinois and Michigan State. FSU then bounced back in a big way 10 years later when it won all three games against Fordham, Towson and UNC-Charlotte during the San Juan Shootout in 2004. FSU is now 4-6 in games played outside of the United States.



Junior forward Jacinta Monroe has led the Seminoles in blocked shots over the past two seasons and has steadily climbed the ranks as one of the greatest shot blockers in program history. With a combined 18 blocks over the past  seven games, and a team-high 29 swats this season, Monroe now has 170 career blocked shots and is just 39 shy of Brooke Wyckoff’s all-time record of 209 she set from 1997-2001.  Monroe is averaging 2.1 blocks per game this season and if she stays on this pace will have 213 career blocked shots after the first game of the ACC Tournament.  She will likely, however, better that pace as she has already recorded three or more blocks in three games this season including a season-high six against Mercer.



The 86 points scored against Temple was the highest offensive output by the Seminoles this season, edging past the 85 that FSU scored in the victory over Murray State. The Seminoles have scored over 80 four times this season and all of those contests resulted in FSU victories.  The 86 points is the most by FSU since the Seminoles’ 94-42 win over Alabama State on December 16, 2007.  In the 2007-08 season, FSU recorded 80 or more points in six games total and went 5-1 in those games.


Monroe Leads FSU in Two Different Categories

Junior Jacinta Monroe currently leads the team in scoring (13.8 ppg) and rebounding (7.2 rpg). Monroe has shown she is capable of earning a double-double. In the loss to Florida, Monroe registered the 11th double-double of her career and third of the season with team-highs in points (18) and rebounds (10). She turned in five double-doubles as a freshman and had three last season during her sophomore campaign.



The Florida State women’s basketball program defeated Penn State 73-60 as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Dec. 3. The victory over the Lady Lions was keyed by a tough FSU defense and double-digit scoring by junior forwards Jacinta Monroe (18 points) and Alysha Harvin (then season-high 14 points) as well as true freshman center Cierra Bravard (15 points).  The ACC captured its second straight ACC/Big Ten Challenge victory with a 7-4 record in the annual series.


 Best Defensive Performance of the Season

Bouncing back after a poor showing against the University of Florida, the FSU defense did its job in the win against Southeast Missouri State. The mere 31 points allowed by the Seminoles against the Redhawks was the lowest point total scored by an FSU opponent since the ‘Noles held Savannah State to just 28 points in a 107-28 romp on Nov. 23, 2003. The fewest amount of points that FSU has ever allowed in a game was 26 when the Clemson Tigers posted that many in an 80-26 loss during the 1993-94 season.


This is the Team

This year’s squad is one of FSU’s most experienced as the Seminoles return 83 percent of its scoring and 89 percent of its rebounding from a year ago. The four newcomers make up the eighth-ranked recruiting class in the country. All four incoming freshman have earned All-America honors with center Cierra Bravard ranked as the No. 7 player in the country and wing Chasity Clayton was rated 32nd in the nation.


Antionette Howard Leaves Team

Sophomore forward Antionette Howard has decided to not play basketball at FSU and has left the team.  She will finish the academic semester at Florida State.


FSU Picked to Finish Fifth in the ACC

Florida State has been picked to finish fifth this season in the very competitive Atlantic Coast Conference. The ACC Preseason Poll was selected by the newly-formed Blue Ribbon Panel, which consists of national and local media members as well as school representatives.


2008-09 ACC Preseason Poll

1. North Carolina (15 first place votes)

2. Maryland (11 first place votes)

3. Duke (14 first place votes)

4. Virginia (two first place votes)

5. Florida State

6. Georgia Tech

7. Boston College

8. NC State

9. Clemson

10. Virginia Tech

11. Miami

12. Wake Forest


Florida State Women’s Basketball Program Signs Talented 2009 Prospect

A year after signing the best recruiting class in the history of the program, the Florida State women’s basketball staff has picked up right where it left off.  FSU head coach Sue Semrau announced Tuesday the signing of 6-foot-3 forward Chelsea Davis, a talented 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.  She will enter her senior season as a three-year starter and has recorded 1,257 career points and 744 career rebounds.  She averaged 21.4 points, 11.5 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game as a junior on her way to leading the team in points, rebounds, steals and blocks per game.


A three-time all-state honoree, including first team honors in each of the last two seasons and honorable mention honors as a freshman, Davis has earned first team all-conference honors the last three seasons and has also been named the MVP of her team three straight years. 

Davis is ranked as the 35th-best post-player prospect in the entire country, according to Hoopgurlz.


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