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By MATT DEARMAN mwd004@latech



Tech’s women’s basketball team, currently ranked 16th in the country, will travel to Denver this weekend for a showdown with the Florida State Lady Seminoles in the opening round of the NCAA tournament at 8  p.m. on Saturday.

The Lady Techsters (26-4, 15-1 WAC) go into the tournament as the 11th seed in the San Antonio region, while Florida State (19-9, 1-4 ACC) picked up the 6th seed, despite being unranked in the National polls.

“I thought we might get a little higher seed,” head  coach Chris Long, said. “We’re the sixteenth best team in the country according to the college coaches. An 11 sees says you’re around the 40 range, but we are glad to be in the tournament.”

Tech entered the contest riding a 15 game winning streak, and claimed both the Western Athletic Conference regular season and tournament championships.

The Lady Seminoles finished fourth in the ACC, the nation’s top rated women’s basketball conference.

Since the NCAA tournament started in 1982, Tech has received an invitation to all 25 events, and claimed the country’s first NCAA woman’s tournament championship.  FSU is making its second consecutive tournament appearance.

Leading the Lady Techsters into the tournament will be senior guard Tasha Williams, who has averaged 13.1 points and 5.2 rebounds per game this season and leads the team in steals with 85 and assists with 141. Other key players for Tech include senior guard Aarica Ray-Boyd with a team high 14.1 points per game and junior forward Ty Moore with 9.2 rebounds per game.

Florida State is led by senior point guard Holly Johnson, who has amassed 10.8 points and 3.4 assists per game this season, and will be joined by Alicia Gladden with 12.8 points and 6.2 rebounds per game and Ganiyat Adeduntan with 12.5 points per game.

Freshmen phenom Britany Miller plays the lone post position for the Lady Seminoles, who are known to run a fast paced, four guard offense.

FSU’s biggest win of the season came on Feb. 26 against then 19th ranked Boston College.

The Techsters signature win came against the Ole Miss Lady Rebels on December 20 to bounce back from a loss at the hands of then top ranked Tennessee five days earlier.

Tech’s last loss was on Jan. 14 at the hands of conference foe Fresno State.

The two squads last met to open the 1998-99 season, resulting in an 88-72 victory for the Techsters.

“”We’re not satisfied just getting in,” Long said. “I’m proud of the team whether we win a game or not.”

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