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FSU makes them count from line to rally past USF

© St. Petersburg Times
published December 8, 2002

TAMPA -- Florida State rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit with solid free-throw shooting down the stretch to beat South Florida 82-78 Saturday in the Dodge Shootout.

"I think our freshman point guard really grew up a lot tonight," FSU coach Sue Semrau said of Holly Johnson. "I think the emotion that (forward) Tasheika Morris showed when we went down 11 was maybe the catalyst that started things for us."

The Bulls and Seminoles were tied at 39 at halftime, but USF (4-3) went on a 13-2 run in the second half to take a 67-56 lead with 7:22 remaining. Freshman Valerie de Velasco, in her first game back from a stress lesion in her leg, capped the run with USF's third 3-pointer in less than two minutes.

But fouls proved to be USF's undoing. The Bulls committed 21 in the second half and the teams combined for 57 in the game.

"It was a very inconsistently called game," Semrau said. "I'm sure (USF coach) Jose (Fernandez) felt the same way. But it's early in the year for officials, too."

The Seminoles (5-1) made 76 percent of their free throws. They were 10-of-11 from the line in the last three minutes, and Jen Kline missed a 3-pointer that would have tied it with six seconds left.

Trinetta Moore led the Seminoles with 20 points and 12 rebounds for her first double double. Aiya Shepard led the Bulls with 18 points.

"For an opponent to come into a home gym and shoot 38 free throws ... I know we're not that bad defensively," Fernandez said. "We did not get beat tonight."

N.C. STATE 81, FLORIDA 77: The Gators' loss to the Wolfpack in the consolation game of the Glaxo-SmithKline Invitational in Raleigh, N.C., could be costly. All-America center Vanessa Hayden left early in the second half after injuring her left ankle. Hayden had 12 points to help Florida build a 38-29 lead. But the game shifted when Hayden was hurt. Kaayla Chones had 24 points and the Wolfpack shot 63 percent in the second half. Florida freshman Bernice Mosby scored 22 and had seven rebounds.

TAMPA 74, NOVA SOUTHEASTERN 65: Jessie McDowell had 23 points and eight rebounds for the visiting Spartans, who improved to 6-1.

P.R. BAYAMON 66, ECKERD 61: Yolina Cabrera scored 23 for the visiting Cowboys. Stefanie Mihalopoulos led the Tritons with 15.

Top 25

NO. 2 LSU 61, ALABAMA STATE 19: The host Tigers allowed the fewest points in their history, and Kisha James and Ayisha Smith scored 11 apiece. The Tigers (6-0) are off to their best start since 1996-97, when they were 14-0 en route to a 25-5 season. The low for an LSU opponent was in a 68-26 victory over Prairie View on Dec. 22, 2001. Alabama State (1-5) shot just 7-for-53 (13.2 percent), the fewest baskets scored against LSU. The mark was nine by Nicholls State in 1994.

NO. 6 PURDUE 73, NO. 8 VANDERBILT 66: Erika Valek scored 23 points and the Boilermakers shut down Chantelle Anderson in the second half at the Hoops for the Cure Classic in Tempe, Ariz.

NO. 7 KANSAS STATE 60, WEBER STATE 36: Kendra Wecker had 18 points and seven rebounds as the host Wildcats won their fifth straight Commerce Bank Classic championship.

NO. 9 NOTRE DAME 81, ARIZONA STATE 52: Jacqueline Batteast scored 20 of her season-high 24 points in the first half for the Fighting Irish in the opener of the Hoops for the Cure Classic.

NO. 11 PENN STATE 80, CLEMSON 66: Jessica Brungo scored 23 points, including two 3-pointers for the visiting Nittany Lions.

NO. 13 ARKANSAS 63, RICE 50: India Lewis scored 22 and Shameka Christon added 12 points and 9 rebounds for the visiting Razorbacks.

NO. 15 LA. TECH 68, TULANE 53: Amber Obaze scored 13 of her season-high 21 points in the second half for the visiting Techsters.

NEW MEXICO 77, NO. 17 TEXAS 70: Jordan Adams had season highs of 22 points and five blocks to lead the host Lobos.

fOREGON 80, NO. 19 BYU 77: Kayla Steen hit a layup with 1:08 left to put the host Ducks ahead, and they held on to hand the Cougars their first loss.

NO. 21 ARIZONA 95, UC RIVERSIDE 66: Dee-Dee Wheeler scored 28 points and made five 3-pointers in the second half for the host Wildcats.

NO. 22 BC 69, TEMPLE 62: Jessalyn Deveny scored 16 of her team-high 23 points in the second half as the host Eagles rallied from an 11-point deficit.

NO. 24 GW 67, SYRACUSE 66: Lindsay Davidson scored 20, and her 3-pointer in the final minute was the difference for the visiting Colonials.

NO. 25 CINCINNATI 92, COASTAL CAROLINA 54: Verie King scored 26 points and set a school record with eight 3-pointers for the host Bearcats.

-- Information from Times wires was used in this report.

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