Howard on her way up Florida State’s career scoring list
Florida State 6-foot-3 senior center Natasha Howard continues to move up the Seminole’s all-time career scoring list.
However, it was a fine shooting display by redshirt sophomore Morgan Jones ignited a Seminole surge as the Florida State women’s basketball team hung on to defeat Cincinnati, 63-58, on Nov. 13, at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati. The ‘Noles improve to 13-8 all-time against Cincinnati.
Florida State got off to a slow start and trailed 9-2 early following the first media timeout at 15:46. Both teams started off reliant from beyond the three-point arc until Cincinnati began forcing its way inside with some higher-percentage shots to help take an early seven-point lead.
|Florida State center Natasha Howard.
(Photo by Steve Musco Courtesy FSU SID)
FSU began to force a few more turnovers over the next eight minutes but were getting beat on the boards. Nonetheless, a pull-up jumper by Jones cut the FSU deficit to 16-11 with 7:34 remaining in the contest. During the stretch, senior Natasha Howard collected her second block of the game on an attempted shot in the paint by the Bearcats to give her 114 swats for her career, tying for fourth on the school list with former center Cierra Bravard (Sandusky Perkins).
Howard finished with eight points overall, giving her 1,168 for her career to move her into 22nd on the FSU career scoring list.
The Florida State women’s basketball team got plenty of scoring production, highlighted by six double-figure totals as it delivered an 88-37 victory over Prairie View A&M at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
“I was really pleased with the way we came out early,” Coach Sue Semrau said. “I thought we set the tone early. In the second half we got pretty sloppy, we did some different things and I don’t think we moved our feet as well as we needed to and that’s something that we’ll grow into as we’re playing with a lead and without fouling. I’m really proud of these two freshmen sitting next to me (Ivey Slaughter and Brittany Brown). Not the points or the rebounds but just their heart and effort and what they do day in and day out.”
Freshman shooting guard Brittany Brown led the Seminoles (3-0) with 24 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field. The Fort Walton Beach, Fla., native becomes the first freshman at Florida State to produce a 20-point performance since teammate Natasha Howard dropped 21 against Arizona State on Nov. 27, 2010.
Brown’s 24-point effort makes her the third ‘Nole to reach the 20-point plateau in three games played this season, joining redshirt sophomore Morgan Jones (22 vs. Cincinnati) and Howard (24 vs. UNCG).
Jones chipped in with 11 points and added 10 boards, her first double-double as a ‘Nole. Howard added 10 points to round out the double-figure scorers, while redshirt junior Lauren Coleman had six.
Florida State was efficient from the floor once again, shooting 29-for-59 for 49.2 percent. Every player who saw court time earned at least two rebounds as FSU held a large edge on the glass against a much smaller Panther (0-3) squad, 51-31.
The ‘Noles were able to record 20 second-chance points and managed to hold Prairie View A&M to no points off second opportunities. Florida State jumped to a 50-10 lead at halftime and was dominant defensively again in the second half. At one point in the game, Prairie View A&M was held without a field goal for 11:18. FSU outscored the Panthers in the second half, 38-27.
Florida State used a 23-0 run to help close out the first half with a 50-10 lead on 54 percent shooting. The last time FSU recorded 50-plus points in a half was the second half at Miami on Feb. 12, 2012, when it recorded 54 points en route to a 93-78 victory. Every FSU student-athlete that saw court time in the first 20 minutes had at least four points recorded.
Florida State started a bit off-key but found its rhythm through forcing turnovers in the early going. The ‘Noles took an 8-2 lead into the first media timeout with consecutive baskets scored by Delgado, including the final one being a nice one-foot jumper in the lane. Delgado’s two early steals helped FSU get some easy buckets early.
The ‘Noles used a key 17-2 run to fuel a 21-4 lead on Jones’ left-handed layup with 11:15 remaining in the first half. Jones made a nice cut in the lane and was fed by Delgado, who penetrated to the hoop and gave a nice dish. Slaughter helped spark the run with a nice and-1 bucket underneath and a few free throws to give the ‘Noles a strong presence inside.
FSU took a commanding 38-9 lead in the first half on a few buckets by James, who had a soft finish inside and a jumper from the elbow. Delgado took command on the fast break and helped the ‘Noles deliver 15 points off turnovers while getting good finishes inside, contributing to their 22 points in the paint with 4:11 left in the half.
FSU and Howard headed back on the road for a big rivalry matchup with in-state foe Florida on Nov. 21 at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Fla.
“This is always a fun rivalry, “Sue Semrau said heading into her 500th game as head coach at Florida State. “A lot of our players are from Florida and some of theirs are from Florida, so there are some bragging rights on the line. At the same time, I think both of us look at this as an opportunity to test ourselves early.”
The ‘Noles (3-0) and Gators (3-1) met in their annual rivalry matchup for the 74th time in series history. Overall, Florida leads the all-time series 42-31, but Florida State has won three of the last four matchups since the 2009-10 season.
Florida State defeated Florida last season 98-67 on Nov. 15, 2012, in Tallahassee. The 31-point win by the ‘Noles is the second-largest win over UF in program history, only eclipsed by a 42-point win (90-48) on Dec. 3, 1980.
In terms of margin of victory, Florida State is coming off a 51-point won over Prairie View A&M on Nov. 17. It is the ninth-largest win in program history and the second straight season FSU has defeated a team by 50+ points.
Thursday’s matchup at Florida marked Semrau’s 500th game coached at Florida State. Since 1997-98, Semrau has built the ‘Noles into a perennial contender in the ACC while making 11 postseason appearances.
The ‘Noles have scored 126 points in the paint in just three games this season, a product of their aggressive offensive attack that focuses on getting to the rim. By comparison, opponents have totaled 64 points in the paint vs. FSU.
Semrau has announced the signing of 6-foot-2 athletic forward Ama Degbeon of Grünberg, Germany, who inked her National Letter of Intent on Thursday morning. She is the person slated to replace Howard when the Toledoan leaves.
“With Natasha Howard graduating, there will be a void in the kind of size and athleticism where Ama will be able to step in and fill right away,” Semrau said. “She’s somebody that has that national team experience and playing against the best already. She brings that to our program at a young age and we’re real excited about that.”