Nov. 16, 2007
CHICAGO, Ill. -
For 37 minutes, the 18th-ranked Florida State women's basketball team played great against No. 24 DePaul on its home court. Unfortunately, it was those other three minutes that did the Seminoles in. The Blue Demons used an early second-half run to beat the Seminoles 79-68 on Friday (November 17) at McGrath Arena.
Florida State suffered its first loss of the season as it fell to 2-1. The Blue Demons won the DePaul Invitational title and improved to 3-0. DU beat Florida International on Thursday night in the first game of the tournament.
"I thought Doug (Bruno) did a great job of adjusting to our big kid being out," FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. "Jacinta Monroe had had the flu so we were really depleted in the post and he did a great job of adjusting and getting the ball to Natasha and she had a career night. We weren't defending the way we need to defend and we've got to grow up. They took advantage of that and that's what good teams do."
Scoring a season-high 14 points was guard Mara Freshour (Nashville, Ind.) to lead the Seminoles. The junior hit a career-high 7-of-7 from the free throw line and only needs to drill four of her next eight to take over the school record for free throw percentage. She is currently at 81.5 percent (75-of-92), but is eight attempts short of the 100-attempt minimum.
Next up was freshman Courtney Ward (Montgomery, Ala.) with 12 points while Antionette Howard (Snellville, Ga.) contributed nine and Jacinta Monroe (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), Tanae Davis-Cain (Dawson, Ga.) and Angel Gray (Stone Mountain, Ga.) each scored eight. The eight markers for Gary are a career-high. Ward, Davis-Cain and Shante Williams (Jacksonville, Fla.) grabbed a team-best five rebounds and Williams added four steals.
Florida State had a distinct advantage at the free throw line - 17-of-25 to 9-of-16 - but the Blue Demons countered by hitting five more three pointers (8-to-3). The Seminoles committed 21 turnovers - which led to 20 DePaul points - and were out-shot from the field for the first time this season, 50.0 percent (31-of-62) to 42.9 percent (24-of-56).
For the first time this year, Florida State found itself trailing as DePaul hit the first basket of the game, but the Seminoles went on an 8-2 run to capture the lead. Florida State's stifling defense held the host without a point for more than four and a half minutes.
The Seminoles would hold the margin around a half dozen points for the first part of the opening half. It would grow to as many as nine (21-12) on a Howard lay-up with 7:14 remaining on the clock. The Blue Demons would chip away at that margin and get it down to a point (25-24) on a three pointer by Missy Mitidiero.
The last three minutes was a flurry of scoring that included four lead changes. DePaul got its first lead (32-29) on the fourth three of the half from Mitidiero FSU would score the next four points on a Gray jumper and a pair of Freshour free throws, but DU answered with four of its own to take the lead back 36-35. A Monroe jumper with 18.1 seconds remaining put the advantage back in FSU's favor (37-36), but Allie Quigly hit a jumper as time expired to give DePaul a 38-37 half-time lead.
Florida State held the advantage in shooting at 53.8 percent (14-of-26) to 46.9 percent (15-of-32) and led 19-to-12 on the boards. FSU made five more free throws (9-to-4), but DePaul countered by hitting four more threes than the Seminoles (4-to-0).
Coming out the break DePaul got off to a quick start but the Seminoles stayed in the game as Freshour scored FSU's first four points. Unfortunately two of her free throws at the 17:35 mark would be the team's only points for the next 2:50 and that proved to be the turning point in the game. During that stretch, the Blue Demons went on a 9-0 run to give them a 12-point lead (54-42).
The margin grew to 15 (59-44) at the 12:32 mark, but Florida State fought its way back to get the lead under double digits. A pair of Ward free throws at the 9:36 mark sliced the lead to seven points (61-54), but that's the closes FSU would get the rest of the night. In the second half, DePaul out-shot FSU 16-of-30 (53.3 percent) to 10-of-30 (33.3 percent) and out-rebounded the Seminoles 25-to-17.
The Seminoles are back on the floor Saturday for the second game of the DePaul Invitational as they take on Florida International at 7 pm (EST). The game can be heard live on 1270 AM and at www.semioles.com.