TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – With a pair of great point guards and a forward group capable of playing in the post or on the wing at her disposable this season, Florida State head coach Sue Semrau has said the Seminoles will be off and running in 2012-13.
The Garnet and Gold did just that on Saturday in an exhibition at the Donald. L. Tucker Center against NCAA Division II Shorter (Ga.) University, using a 22-0 six-minute spurt early in the second half to literally sprint past the Lady Hawks.
Led by point guards Morgan Toles and Cheetah Delgado, the Noles employed a fastbreak offense, often ignited by Shorter turnovers on the other end.
“We’re a different team this year,” Semrau said. “We get out and run a lot more. I saw a lot of consistency on the defensive end that allowed us to get out and run. We certainly feel prepared for the regular season now. We had a great crowd, and it was great to play in front of the band and in front of the lights. It was a great test for us.”
The Seminoles held a 35-18 halftime lead, but Shorter scored the first five points of the second half, cutting the FSU lead to 35-23 with just over 18 minutes remaining in the contest.
That’s when Florida State hit the gas pedal, scoring 22 consecutive points in a six-minute, 12-second span.
Senior forward Chelsea Davis drilled a jumper in the paint to start the game-breaking run and make the score 37-23 at the 18:12 mark and classmate Chasity Clayton buried a three-pointer from the top of the key 20 seconds later.
At the 16:39 mark, Delgado, a junior transfer from Hillsborough Community College, found junior forward Natasha Howard for one of her game-high six assists to give the Noles a 44-23 lead.
Toles, a senior, had one of the highlights of the game moments later, recording a steal and going the length of the court for a coast-to-coast “And-1” layup. She made the free throw to make the score 46-23. A jumper by senior guard Leonor Rodriguez capped the run at the 12:00 mark with the Seminoles leading 57-23.
In the first half, FSU jumped out to leads of 5-0 and 14-4, but Shorter fought back and closed the gap to as little as five points, 19-14 with 6:57 remaining before halftime. The Noles used a 16-4 run, however, to take a 17-point lead into the locker room.
Davis finished with a game-high 14 points, four boards, three steals and two blocks, while Howard added 12 points and a game-high eight rebounds. FSU’s starting post players went a combined 8-for-8 from the free throw line, as well.
Clayton added 12 points and Rodriguez had her typical all-around line of 10 points, seven boards, three assists and two steals.
The Seminoles shot 42.4 percent (28-of-66) and held the Lady Hawks to 23.7 percent shooting (14-of-59). FSU held a 14-2 advantage in fastbreak points.
Florida State’s first regular season game will be Sunday, Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. against Samford.
Semrau will also appear at the Leach Center on FSU’s campus this Wednesday at 5 p.m. to complete the “Coach Sue Versus” promotion. She will challenge current students to basketball skills competitions.