April 24, 2008
Seminoles Reach NCAA Tournament For Fourth-Straight Season
In the past, a trip to the NCAA Tournament was an added bonus to the season for Florida State. Now it's become a rule. For the fourth-straight season, the Seminoles were part of the 64 in the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Florida State, seeded 11th, was sent to Des Moines, Iowa for the first two rounds of the New Orleans Regional. In addition to making their fourth-consecutive Big Dance, it was the Seminoles' sixth-straight post season appearance. FSU was a second away from making back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances as it fell to No. 13 and third-seeded Oklahoma State in the second round.
FSU Takes Down No. 25 Ohio State In NCAA Tournament First Round
Some detractors felt Florida State shouldn't have been in the NCAA Tournament, but the Seminoles proved everyone wrong. Florida State opened the 2008 Tournament with a resounding 60-49 victory over 25th-ranked Ohio State. The Seminoles never trailed the third-seeded Buckeyes the entire game and had a 20-point lead in the second half. Florida State has won its opening round NCAA Tournament game in each of the last four seasons and all five trips under Sue Semrau.
FSU Finding ACC Tournament Success
As well as the Seminoles have done in the NCAA Tournament, that hasn't been the case during the conference tournament until recently. For the second year in a row Florida State picked up a first round victory in the ACC Tournament. Ironically, for the second year in a row, the Seminoles took down Wake Forest, 57-52, on the first day of the tournament. Florida State battled No. 11 Duke in the quarterfinals, and had a lead midway through the second half, before falling, 67-81.
Semrau Moves Up On ACC Wins List
Just two wins during conference play moved head coach Sue Semrau up a notch on the ACC coaching ranks for ACC victories. With 76 victories during conference action, Semrau rates eighth all-time. She needs eight to catch former Georgia Tech coach Agnus Berenato for the seventh spot. Semrau is 45 triumphs from surpassing Berenato on the overall wins list.
Williams Take Down FSU Assist Record
It was the record she was destine to break since day one and on January 6, 2008, it was hers. Shante Williams dished out her 389 assist at the 11:21 mark of the second half. She drove to the lane from the left wing and dished to Mara Freshour who knocked down a jumper from just inside the free throw line. Williams broke the old mark of 388 set by Jen Robinson. Not only did she break the mark, but she may have put it out of reach for some time. Williams finished her career with 451 assists after her third season of 100 assists or more.
Williams Crosses 1,000-Point Barrier
She'll be known for being the best passer in Florida State history, but Shante Williams was also a very prolific scorer. At Maryland on February 24 she reached the number that defines your ability to put the ball in the basket. At the 14:20 mark of the second half she went to the well for her sixth point of the day and to push her over the 1,000-point barrier for her career. Williams finished her career with 1,085 points. The 21st member of the Florida State 1,000-point club, she finished her tenure ranked 19th.
Check Out The Big Brain On Mara
If you were looking for the definition of a student-athlete, one would have to look no farther than Florida State guard Mara Freshour. Top three on the team in scoring, rebounding and assists, the junior also excels in the classroom. Freshour was honored for her efforts in both with a CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Second-Team Academic All-District Selection. In addition, she picked up her second Academic All-ACC Women's Basketball honor. A sport management major with a 3.65 gpa, she's the team's Golden Torch winner for having the highest GPA on the team, been on the President's List twice (4.0 GPA) and once on the Dean's List (3.5 GPA or higher).
Davis-Cain Earns All-ACC Accolades
She was the catalyst for the Florida State women's basketball team and Tanae Davis-Cain was recognized for her efforts by being named Honorable Mention All-ACC by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association as announced by the league office. Davis-Cain is the 18th Seminole to be honored by the league's media association and gave Florida State an All-ACC selection for the 11th season in a row. She is the 10th-different player under Sue Semrau to earn All-ACC honors.
Davis-Cain Lighting Up The Scoreboard
After two years of being a role player, guard Tanae Davis-Cain took over the Seminoles' scoring duties. She upped her average by over five points per game to 15.0 ppg. Helping this scoring onslaught was six games of 20 points or more, including three games in a row, which is the best run of 20-point games since All-American Roneeka Hodges put 20 up in four-straight. During the middle of the season, Davis-Cain reached double digits in 14-straight games.
Everyone Gets Their Shot
The Seminoles were the only team in the ACC this season to have every player on the roster start at least one game and every Seminoles has actually started at least two. In all, Florida State used 17 different starting line-ups throughout the course of the year. Of the 17 combinations, the most any one group played together is seven by the quintet of Jacinta Monroe, Alysha Harvin, Shante Williams, Courtney Ward and Mara Freshour.
FSU Continues Dominance Of The Gators
Over the last four years, Florida State has had Florida's number in their annual series. A Mara Freshour free throw with 5.3 seconds remaining put the Seminoles up three and a UF desperation heave fell short as No. 20 Florida State prevailed 81-78 on November 23. FSU has won four of the last five, after dropping the previous 16, against the Gators. The win was just the second for the Seminoles in Gainesville since the 1990-91 season.
Seminoles Are State Champs
The last two and half years, the Seminoles have been the queens of the Sunshine State. The 50-49 victory over Miami during the final week of the regular season moved their unbeaten streak to 12 over in-state foes. FSU has not lost a game to an in-state opponent since a 62-72 loss at Florida on January 2, 2006. At home, the Seminoles have won their last 12 ball games to schools from the state since dropping a 74-60 decision to Florida on December 6, 2003.
Seminoles Come Out Victorious In Inaugural Big Ten/ACC Challenge
Florida State did its part to help out the league during the inaugural Big Ten/ACC Women's Basketball Challenge. Mara Freshour - who grew up 20 minutes east of Bloomington - scored 21 points to help the Seminoles defeat Indiana 85-78. Led by Freshour, Florida State had five players in double figures. Freshman Antionette Howard came off the bench to produce her first collegiate double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. The Seminoles' victory helped the conference win the Challenge, 8-3.
Seminoles Set Three-Point Record
A depleted interior game forced the Seminoles to rely on the play of their perimeter players and they did not disappoint. Florida State was one of the top three-point shooting teams in the conference and dropped in a school-record 182 three-pointers, besting the old mark by 16. In addition to being prolific, the Seminoles were accurate from behind the arc, hitting 35.7 percent, which is the best rate since the 1988-89 squad set the record of 43.4 percent the year the three-point line was instituted. Setting the record was a team effort as seven players made at least one three pointers and five hit at least 10 three balls during the season.
Freshour Takes Down Three-Point Record
Directly contributing to Florida State breaking the single-season record was Mara Freshour resetting the school's three-point record. The junior hit 66 three balls this season - breaking Linnea Liljestrand's mark of 54 set in 2004-05 - including 10 in her last three games. She only needed 29 games to break the mark - doing it against Clemson - whereas Liljestrand set the record in 32 games. Freshour took 154 three-point attempts on the year, which rates as the fourth-most in a season. She finished the season rated fourth in the ACC at 2.00 three-pointers per game.
Seminole Earn Highest Ranking In School History
In before the season started, Florida State was already making history. The Seminoles began the year ranked 19th in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll, equaling the highest ranking in school history. Just one week into the season, Florida State did itself one better as it moved up to number 18 in the AP poll, marking the highest the program has ever been ranked. A win over Ohio State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and a close call with Oklahoma State warranted votes for the Seminoles as they wrapped up the year at No. 28 in the USA Today/ ESPN Coaches' Poll.
Double Double Trouble
The Seminoles got seven double doubles this season from a trio of players, including a pair in the NCAA Tournament. Picking up three of the seven was sophomore forward Jacinta Monroe, including the first - 13 points and 10 rebounds versus North Florida and the last - 14 points and 13 rebounds against Oklahoma State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Junior Mara Freshour turned in her first two collegiate double-doubles - including 14 points and 12 rebounds in the opening round NCAA Tournament victory over Ohio State. Freshman Antionette Howard got into the act with a pair with her first coming at Indiana in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
Davis-Cain And Freshour Racing Toward Career Three-Point Record
The race is on between Tanae Davis-Cain and Mara Freshour for the school's career three-point record. Currently, Wendy Hampton holds the mark at 134 three-balls. Going into their senior season, Davis-Cain leads Freshour by four at 121-to-117. Davis-Cain has a bigger lead in the race to 1,000 career points, having 829 markers to Freshour's 755.
Freshour Is Dead On From Behind The Line
While it may be up for debate who is the more prolific three-point shooter, there's no question that Mara Freshour is the most accurate three-point shooter on the team. The junior had the most accurate three-point shooting season in nearly two decades as she led the ACC and was 14th in the country with her rate of 42.8 percent this season. In addition, she continued to move towards Florida State's all-time three-point record. Her rate this season pushed her to 39.9 percent for her career, which is 1.5 percent behind Robin Story's career mark of 41.4 percent, and is ninth in ACC history.
Tanae Davis-Cain And Courtney Ward Able To Hit From Downtown
Mara Freshour wasn't the only accurate shooter from three-point range this season. This year's team featured three of the most accurate shooters in school history. Freshman Courtney Ward hit 35.4 percent from behind the arc, which rates ninth on the single-season charts. Tanae Davis-Cain was a spot behind Ward as she shot a career-best 34.0 percent from downtown.
Freshour Takes Over Career Free Throw Mark; Ranks Second On Single-Season List
Her accuracy from 15 feet is just as good as from 19 feet, nine inches. Fittingly enough, Mara Freshour took over the number one spot on the FSU career free throw list 20 miles from where she honed her craft. The junior went 8-of-11 from the line at Indiana to set the new mark. She finished her third season at 81.2 percent, which also places her 13th on the career ACC chart. Freshour flirted with the single-season record, shooting 82.6 percent this year, which was just behind Holly Johnson's record of 83.7 percent set in 2004-05.
Jacinta From The Block
While she's only a sophomore, Jacinta Monroe is well on her way to becoming the greatest shot blocker in school history. She nearly broke Brooke Wyckoff's single-season record of 80 blocks this year as she swatted 78 shots for an average of 2.4 blocks per game that rated her 24th in the country. Through two seasons, Monroe has 141 blocks, which is just three back of Wyckoff's total during her first two campaigns. A big difference between the two player's production is that Wyckoff's block totals went down after her freshman year, while Monroe had 15 more stuff as a sophomore than she did her freshman year. Monroe will go into her junior season needing only 69 blocks to take over the all-time record of 209. With a career rate of 2.1 per game that is seventh in ACC history she would break the record in 33 games at that rate or accomplish it in 29 games if she stays with this season's production.