No. 22 Florida St. 83, Clemson 73
Florida State coach Sue Semrau is happy to get any road win in
the Atlantic Coast Conference.
She wasn’t thrilled with her 22nd-ranked Seminoles poor effort
in an 83-73 victory over Clemson on Thursday night. The Lady Tigers
have lost 50 straight games to ranked opponents.
”I’m going to get on them. I thought our captains showed up to
play and everyone else just came out kind of lackluster,” Semrau
Florida State (15-4, 3-1 ACC) never trailed. But the Seminoles
shot poorly, played bad defense in stretches and let a Lady Tigers
team that has lost 16 of its last 17 against them hang around too
long, Semrau said.
”We can’t do that. We’ve got big games ahead,” Semrau
Up next is a showdown Monday with the ACC’s surprise team,
Miami. The No. 17 Hurricanes have opened 4-0 in the league.
The Seminoles came into the game ranked 14th in the country in
field goal shooting at 45.4 percent. But they shot just 36.5
percent Thursday night, while Clemson shot 44.3 percent.
The difference came on the boards and at the foul line. Florida
State made 22 of 34 free throws, while Clemson (8-12, 1-4) only
went to the line six times, making five foul shots. The Seminoles
also had 12 more offensive rebounds.
”We take those offensive rebounds away and half their free
throw attempts and we’re in there,” said Lady Tigers first-year
coach Itoro Coleman.
Clemson fought back from an early 11-point deficit to tie the
game at 51 with 13 minutes to go, but Florida State answered with a
25-10 run in the next 10 minutes, led by three 3-pointers by
Courtney Ward, whose finished with a team high 21 points.
”When we scored, we got a little too lazy on the defensive
end,” Ward said. ”They got off a couple of 3s they shouldn’t have
Shaniqua Pauldo led Clemson with 21 points. Chancie Dunn added
Alexa Deluzio added 17 points, while Natasha Howard had 16
points and nine rebounds and Cierra Bravard added 12 points and 11
rebounds for Florida State, who bounced back from a 17-point loss
last Friday to No. 3 Duke.
The Seminoles jumped out to a 13-2 lead Thursday night as
Deluzio scored seven points in the first four minutes of the game.
But Florida State could never put the Lady Tigers away.
Pauldo helped Clemson creep back in, and her two free throws
with two minutes left in the first half cut Florida State’s lead to
The Lady Tigers stayed close, finally tying it at 51 on Chancie
Dunn’s basket with 13:30 to go. They had two chances to take the
lead, but both times the shots rolled around the rim before popping
Deluzio put Florida State up for good with a driving bucket and
free throw. Howard followed with a short jumper, then Deluzio
buried a 3 that put the Seminoles up 59-51 with 10:48 to go.
”I couldn’t even be disappointed in how my girls fought
tonight. There were times early on in the season that they would
hang their heads. But they didn’t. They just kept chipping away and
chipping away and fighting,” said Coleman, a point guard for the
Lady Tigers from 1995 to 1999, when they were among the ACC elite,
making the NCAA tournament 14 out of 15 seasons.
But Clemson has missed the NCAAs eight years in a row.
The tables have turned for Florida State, who used to be the
ACC’s doormat. When Semrau took over in 1997, Florida State was
coming off an 0-16 season. But the Seminoles have shared the ACC
regular season title the past two years.
”Things cycle, I guess,” Semrau said. ”I hope we don’t cycle
back down any time soon.”