ROCHESTER, Mich. – It was just too much of a hole for the No. 21/22 Florida State women’s basketball team to dig itself out from underneath. The Seminoles did their best to come back from a 17-point deficit to Oakland, but they came up just short, dropping an 85-75 decision to the Grizzlies on Sunday (December 2).
The loss snapped Florida State’s winning streak at four games as it fell to 6-2. Oakland won its first game against a ranked team in three tries as it improved to 4-2.
Leading four players in double figures was guard Tanae Davis-Cain (Dawson, Ga.) as she scored a team-high 16 points. Next was Mara Freshour (Nashville, Ind.) as she had 14 to go along with a team-high six rebounds. Matching Freshour was forward Jacinta Monroe (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) and she grabbed five boards. Center Britany Miller (Tallapoosa, Ga.) came off the bench for her best game since spraining her ankle two weeks ago as she scored 11.
Guard Shante Williams (Jacksonville, Fla.) had a solid all-around game, scoring eight points, grabbing five rebounds, dishing out three assists and producing two steals. Fellow ball handler Courtney Ward (Montgomery, Ala.) had eight assists with just two turnovers.
Neither team could hold onto the basketball as the Seminoles committed 20 turnovers to the Grizzlies’ 18. OU had a 22-13 advantage in points off turnovers and 40-30 in second-chance points. The home team was also 18-of-26 at the free throw line compared to 7-for-10 by FSU. The Seminoles did out-shoot the Grizzlies 8-of-20 (40.0 percent) to 5-of-16 (31.3 percent) from behind the arc. Oakland had a slight edge in rebounding (37-35) and field goal shooting – 52.5 percent (31-of-59) to 45.5 percent (30-of-66).
After the Seminoles got the first two baskets of the game, they would not score for more than five minutes. That allowed the host to go on a 14-0 run to claim a 10-point lead. Breaking the streak was a jumper by Davis-Cain. Another Davis-Cain jumper got the margin down to five (25-20) at the 9:11 mark. During the run Florida State was able to work the ball inside to Monroe and Miller as they combined for six points.
Unfortunately that’s as close as the Seminoles would get for the half. Following the Davis-Cain jumper, Florida State would go another 3:21 without a basket. The drought helped the Grizzlies pull out to a 30-20 lead at the 6:14 mark. The closest FSU would get for the remainder of the half was 12 (39-27) on a Davis-Cain jumper with 2:57 left. Oakland would outscore the Seminoles 11-4 the rest of the way to take a 48-31 advantage into the half.
For the third game in a row, first-half turnovers plagued the Seminoles as they committed 13 turnovers, which led to 13 points for the Grizzlies. Despite having a distinct height advantage – Oakland did not start a player over 5-foot-11 - Florida State allowed 24 points in the paint which contributed to the hosts out-shooting FSU 63.6 percent (19-of-30) to 43.8 percent (14-of-32). Oakland also benefited from a 7-of-11 to 1-of-3 bump at the free throw line.
Out of the half the Seminoles worked to cut the Oakland lead. Over the first eight minutes of the second half, Florida State out-scored the Grizzlies 23-14. A Freshour three-pointer at the 11:57 mark slice the margin to eight points (54-62). The Grizzlies got the margin back up to 11 (73-62), but the Seminoles started chipping away again on the lead.
A pair of three-pointers from Freshour and another from Davis-Cain got the lead down to four (73-77) on a Freshour three-ball at the 4:35 mark. The two teams would trade free throws with a pair of Freshour getting the margin back to four (79-75) with 2:35 remaining but little did Florida State know that would be the last time it would score in the game. Unfortunately, the Seminoles could not get the offense going the rest of the way as they missed four shots and turned the ball over.
The Seminoles are back on the hardwood one last time before final exams and it will be a tough one as they travel to College Station, Texas, to take on No. 12 Texas AM. The game will be played Thursday (December 6) at 8 p.m. (EST) and can be heard on 100.7 FM and at www.seminoles.com