Tallahassee, FL - The No. 14 Florida State women’s basketball team continued the program’s season-opener dominance Friday night with an 89-39 victory over visiting Alabama State.
The Seminoles (1-0) are now 14-0 in the first game of a new season under head coach Sue Semrau. They have also now won 12 consecutive home openers while also extending their winning streak in Tallahassee to 11 games.
Friday’s 2010-11 kick-off game not only marked the start of a new year but also the introduction of freshman sensation Natasha Howard.
Blessed with unique size and play-any-position ability, Howard has generated national headlines since starring in high school in Toledo, Ohio.
And against the Hornets (0-1), the nation’s No. 2-ranked recruit from the 2010 signing class looked every bit the part. Howard finished her first contest with a game-high 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting in just 19 minutes. She also added seven rebounds, one block and one steal.
Joining Howard in the offensive onslaught were two of her veteran teammates.
Redshirt sophomore guard Alexa Deluzio posted 17 points and junior forward Cierra Bravard notched the first double-double of the year on 15 points and a career-high 17 rebounds.
Redshirt sophomore forward Chasity Clayton and true freshman guard Olivia Bresnahan added seven points apiece. Clayton contributed 10 rebounds.
Bresnahan also had three steals and fellow freshman guard Tay’ler Mingo had three takeaways and three points. Senior point guard Courtney Ward led the way with four assists to go along with her six points.
For the game, FSU shot 46.7 percent compared to just 20 percent by Alabama State. The Seminoles outrebounded the Hornets 59-40.
Florida State’s first points of the year came by way of something that Seminole fans are used to seeing: a Deluzio 3-pointer.
The long ball by FSU’s second-year guard was then followed up by something that Seminoles will need to get used to seeing: a Howard bucket.
Up 5-0 early on, the ’Noles then raced to an 18-0 lead before the first Hornets’ basket. The home team then proceeded to close out the first half by outscoring ASU 28-18 and went into the break with a 46-20 advantage.
Ironically, FSU opened the second half with another 18-point run.
Next up for the Seminoles is a much stiffer test. The team will practice Saturday and Sunday afternoons before traveling to Auburn, Ala. to take on the Tigers in their brand new gym on Monday night.