January 20, 2008 - by
Tremendous First-Half Defense Leads Florida State To 63-39 Win At Clemson

Jan. 20, 2008

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    CLEMSON, S.C. –
    With only eight players the previous nine games, the Florida State women’s basketball team turned to the defensive end to the floor for its success. The return of two key players didn’t stifle the Seminoles’ defensive effort as they held Clemson to just nine points in the first half on their way to a 63-39 win over the Tigers on Sunday (January 20) at Littlejohn Coliseum.

    Florida State got its first conference road victory of the year as it improved to 3-1 in the ACC, 13-6 overall. Clemson had its two-game ACC win streak halted to fall to 2-3 in the ACC, 9-11 overall.

    “I thought we played really well on defense,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “Having Tanae Davis-Cain back in the line-up really sparked us in that way. I thought Cayla Moore played a fantastic game all around, especially the 11 rebounds. I thought we did a great job in the first half of cleaning the glass.”

    Leading the Seminoles in her first game back was guard Tanae Davis-Cain (Dawson, Ga.) with a game-high 14 points. Forward Jacinta Monroe (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) turned in her second double-double of the year with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Guard Mara Freshour (Nashville, Ind.) was the third Seminole in double figures at 11 as well.

    Five different players grabbed five or more rebounds, led by forward Cayla Moore (Albany, Ga.) with a game-high 11, as Florida State out-rebounded Clemson 52-to-37. Shooting was the key to the game as the Seminoles held the Tigers to 21.4 percent (15-of-70), which kept the hosts out of their full-court press defense. Florida State shot 52.2 percent in the second half for an overall rate of 42.6 percent (23-of-54).

    “Cayla just gave us so much,” Semrau added. “She was a hustle player, she really pursued the basketball and was efficient when she had the ball inside; she scored on three out of four attempts.”

    Guards Shante Williams (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Courtney Ward (Montgomery, Ala.) dished out four assists each. Monroe had a trio of blocks and Moore had a pair. Despite turning the ball over six more times (22-16), FSU had a 16-10 advantage in points off turnovers. Florida State got 28 of its points in the paint.

    Good defense by the Seminoles to start the game kept Clemson off the scoreboard for over three minutes. A pair of free throws and a lay-up by Davis-Cain staked Florida State to a 4-0 lead. FSU held the Tigers scoreless for another 3:33 that allowed it to push the margin to 13-5 on a lay-up by Cayla Moore at the 12:27 mark as five different players scored for the Seminoles during the run.

    Clemson’s cold shooting continued as it hit only two of its first 27 shots. Moore added another lay-up and Monroe hit the second of two free throws to give FSU a 16-5 advantage at the 9:25 mark. Despite playing great defense, the Seminoles couldn’t translate it to the offensive end of the floor. Florida State went 3:30 itself without a basket before Harvin canned a three to establish a 19-5 lead.

    A basket by Clemson’s Whitney Hood made the score 21-9 with 4:21 remaining, but that would be the last points the hosts would score in the opening 20 minutes. The Seminoles went on a 9-0 run to end the half – 19 to 4 over the last 13 minutes – to take a 30-9 lead into the locker room. Monroe’s jumper with 1:11 remaining pushed FSU’s margin to 20 for the first time. The nine Tiger points in the first half are the lowest ever in a half. Their previous low had been 14 against North Carolina during the 1991 season.

    Seven of the eight Seminoles that got into the half scored at least three points, led by seven from Harvin and five from Monroe. Monroe grabbed six rebounds and blocked two shots while Courtney Ward pulled in five. Williams had three assists.

    Florida State’s defense limited Clemson to just 11.4 (4-of-35) but the Seminoles weren’t that much better at 35.5 percent (11-of-31). Florida State out-rebounded Clemson 30-to-21 and had nine points off nine Tiger turnovers. The Seminoles were dominant inside, scoring 14 points in the paint and rejecting five shots.

    The second half started out very similar to the first with Freshour’s three pointer giving the Seminoles their biggest lead of the game, 37-11, at the 16:49 mark. Clemson found its offensive rhythm and got the lead to 17 (41-24), but Freshour hit another three at the 10:47 mark to snap a 3:46 dry spell and get the lead back to 20, 44-24. An 8-0 run that was capped off by a Monroe jumper at the 5:46 mark pushed FSU’s lead to 52-30 and erased any hope of a Tiger comeback.

    Florida State stays on the road for its next game as it travels to Miami next Thursday (January 24) for a 7 p.m. tip with the Hurricanes. The game can be heard on 1270 AM and Seminoles.com.

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