March 23, 2003
AUBURN, Ala. - Despite 14 points from Tasheika Morris and 12 points from Lauren Bradley, the Florida State women's basketball season fell 68-57 in second round WNIT action on Sunday afternoon at the Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum. With the loss, the Seminoles ended their season 17-13 while the Tigers improved to 20-11.
"We had a really special team this year," FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. "I was really proud of their effort in the second half. (Auburn coach) Joe (Ciampi) has done a great job with this team. They don't have a ton of depth, but what they do have is a very good balanced team. They've got strength, they got the ability to shoot and penetrate. I just thought we played catch up the entire game. I just credit them for scoring on us early."
Auburn's Tia Miller scored eight of the Tigers' first 11 points and FSU trailed 13-4 early on. The Seminoles couldn't get anything going offensively and had just six points in the first eight minutes of the game and trailed by 12 at the 11:58 mark. Auburn continued to score easily from anywhere and everywhere and went up by as many as 15 while FSU was getting good looks at the basket, but couldn't get anything to fall. The Tribe trailed 23-8 when Lauren Bradley entered the game and made a difference. She scored FSU's next six points to pull within 11 at 25-14 at the 7:40 mark. Auburn's Natasha Brackett got the hot hand and scored the Tigers' next seven points to put them right back in control. The Seminoles' inside play allowed them to get within 11 again inside the two minute mark, but FSU trailed by 13 at the break, 39-26. Bradley led FSU with eight points while Trinetta Moore added six points and a team-high five rebounds. FSU shot just 30 percent from the field but had a 26-24 rebounding edge. Auburn shot 44 percent and was led by Brackett's 13 points while Miller had 10 points and seven rebounds.
Senior Katelyn Vujas came out ready to play in the second half and scored FSU's first six points before having to leave the game with her third foul. The Seminoles stepped up their defense and with 12:57 left in the game, pulled to within nine at 43-34. After falling behind again by 14 at 48-34, the Tribe scored nine straight points to get within just five. Bradley started the streak with a lay up and Tasheika Morris followed with a bucket and two free throws. It was a three-pointer from Linnea Liljestrand that sealed the deal. Auburn's LaKeisha Johnson responded with a three-pointer of her own and Auburn hit another shot to go back up by double digits at 53-43 with 6:31 left in the game. The last six minutes of the game saw a flurry of three-pointers. Auburn's Louise Emeagi hit back-to-back threes to put Auburn up by 12 and Morris hit two straight treys of her own and FSU was within seven at 64-57 with 2:35 remaining. But despite fouling in the final minute, the Seminoles could get no closer.
FSU shot an impressive 54 percent in the second half and finished the game with a 40-39 rebounding advantage. Moore led the Seminoles with seven rebounds and added eight points while freshman point guard Holly Johnson had four assists and six rebounds. Vujas, who played just 19 minutes due to foul trouble, scored eight points in her final game.
Florida State will lose one senior in Vujas and will return 11 letter winners from this year's squad while welcoming a top-three ranked recruiting class.