Dec. 6, 1997
Florida International Edges Florida State
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida State (4-3) sophomore Latavia Coleman scored a game-high 24 points and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds, but Florida State fell 66-63 to Florida International (4-0) in the championship game of the first annual Tallahassee Democrat Seminole Classic this afternoon at Tully Gym. Georgia rebounded for a 97-61 victory over Charleston Southern in the consolation game earlier in the day.
The Seminoles got off to a solid start behind junior Arleshia Davidson's strong 14 first-half points and led by as many as 12 points before going into the lockerroom with a 34-28 halftime lead. In the second half, Florida International tied the game four times before taking its first lead at 49-46 with 10:23 to play. The Golden Panthers would not trail again and pulled ahead by six with 3:36 to play. The Tribe pulled to within one with just over a minute to play but couldn't get a shot off and was forced to foul. Lysa Moorefield also tallied double digits for FSU with 14 points.
In the consolation game, Georgia's Coco Miller scored a tournament-high 45 points,including tying a Georgia school record with seven three pointers. Charleston Southern led only once at 3-2 in the first minute of the game and trailed 52-29 at halftime. UGA's biggest lead of the game was 43 points.
Coleman and Moorefield earned all-tournament team honors for FSU. The rest of the team included Charleston Southern's Crystal Carpenter, Georgia's Coco Miller and Florida International's Dalma Ivanyi. FIU's Gergana Branzova was named the Classic's Most Valuable Player.