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Different Gators defeat Seminoles

ZACHARY SPAIN
Published December 7, 2003

TALLAHASSEE - The Florida team Florida State coach Sue Semrau expected didn't show up to the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center on Saturday.

The Seminoles prepared for a bruising center and a cast of perimeter shooters.

What they got was Vanessa Hayden and a team of slashers as Florida won 74-60.

"What we'd seen Florida do prior to this game was shoot 25-30 3s a game," Semrau said. "I thought they did better penetrating (Saturday)."

The Gators (4-1) made only 4 of 15 3-pointers but turned 14 Seminole turnovers into 18 points.

Then there was Hayden, the 6-foot-4 senior who had 12 rebounds and seven blocks to go with a team-high 18 points despite making only 2 of 10 free throws.

But for a stretch midway through the first half, it looked as if FSU would outrun Florida. The Seminoles (4-2) cut a 32-18 deficit to 34-32 with 1:41 left in the first half on Tasheika Allen's fourth 3-pointer of the game.

"They were beating us in transition," Gator coach Carolyn Peck said.

"We started clock watching. I think we were celebrating and not understanding that the game is 40 minutes."

After FSU got within 35-34 on LaQuinta Neely's drive, Allen, who scored 18 first-half points, virtually disappeared. Florida shadowed FSU's top scorer by rotating Danielle Santos and Tara Taylor on Allen, who made only one second-half basket.

"(Allen) wears you down," Peck said. "It took two players, and we just wanted to keep fresh legs on her because she can get open."

FSU fell behind by 20 four times in the second half while Hayden cleaned up inside with eight rebounds.

The Gators finished with four double-figure scorers and outscored the Seminoles 31-13 at the free-throw line.

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