March 20, 2006
DENVER, Colo. - Florida State women's basketball coach Sue Semrau got a peek into her future lineup as sophomore guard Shante Williams went 9-for-11 from the field for a career-high 23 points in 24 minutes of play, and sophomore Nikki Anthony pulled down a team-best eight rebounds, but it wasn't enough as the Seminoles fell 88-70 to Stanford (27-7) in NCAA Tournament second round action and concluded their season with a 20-10 record. The FSU seniors ended their career as the first group to lead the Seminoles to four straight postseason appearances, including back-to-back second round appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
"The gift that these seniors have given is something we need to open," Semrau said. "We have to use that for our program. We need to be a program that can make it further in the tournament."
FSU was at a disadvantage early in the first half as 6-foot-4 freshman center Britany Miller - who played only 15 minutes - picked up three early fouls which forced the Seminoles to play with a small lineup against a tall Stanford squad. Another factor in the first half struggle for the Seminoles was the fact that Stanford went to the free throw line 15 times compared to
"In the games that we have lost lately, foul trouble was our problem," Semrau said. "That's definitely something we'll have to address in the future."
The Seminoles came out strong in the second period, eventually cutting the Cardinal lead to six points at the mark before Stanford went on an 8-2 run and led by 12 points (49-37) with remaining in the game. Williams, who was all over the court, drilled shots from the corners and in the lane and inched FSU within eight points (68-60) with left in the game. But once again, the Cardinal responded from beyond the arc with back-to-back three-pointers and raced away with the 18-point win.
FSU managed just one three-pointer on eight attempts while the Cardinal, who were led by Candice Wiggins four three-pointers and 34 points, went 7-for-17 from downtown. Stanford finished the game shooting 53 percent and made 27-of-33 free throw attempts.
Junior Alicia Gladden recovered from a slow start to finish with 15 points and seven rebounds for the Seminoles but she was the only FSU starter in double figures. Senior Holly Johnson finished with eight points and eight assists in her career finale.
"It was definitely a little emotional after the game with us for seniors," Johnson said. "Just to come to this point where we made it this far is great. We have set a trend here at
SENIOR GUARD Holly Johnson
On play of Candice Wiggins
"Candice Wiggins is such a great player. Obviously, you can see what she did on the court out there. Just guarding her in the first half, I was just trying to stay with her. She was always a step ahead of me and the rest of the team. We tried different match ups. We tried going big; we tried going small. But I don't think that there was a person to stop her tonight. She played unbelievably well, and my hat's off to her."
STANFORD HEAD COACH TARA VANDERVEER
General statement on the game:
"We beat a really great team tonight.
On guard Candice Wiggins:
"I love coaching Candice Wiggins. She is a gamer, she is a winner and I wouldn't trade Candice for any player in the country. She's the kind of player that makes everyone around her better. She's just going to have to stay at Stanford for another six or seven years."
GUARD CANDICE WIGGINS
On her 34-point, 7-rebound performance:
"I have struggled as of late. I was talking to (Stanford head coach) Tara (VanDerveer) who told me to relax. The more you don't think about your shot, the easier it becomes.
On upcoming Sweet 16 appearance:
"We are excited for the challenge of playing
CENTER BROOKE SMITH
On Playing Oklahoma's Courtney Paris in the Sweet 16:
"I don't think it's a personal (defensive assignment). I think it will be a team effort. She is good inside player. We are excited for the challenge."