TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) — No. 24/25 Florida State, which has been included in the national rankings in both of the past two weeks, plays host to Southern Miss on Thursday, December 21, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center. The Seminoles’ game against the Eagles is their final non-conference regular season game of the 2017 season. The game between the two former Metro Conference foes marks the second consecutive season the two teams have met with the Seminoles taking a 98-49 victory on Dec. 8, 2016 in Tallahassee. Florida State enters Thursday’s game with a 26-game home court winning streak – the third longest in the nation and a 26-game non-conference home winning streak – the second longest current streak in the ACC (Duke, 138). Following Thursday’s game against Southern Miss, the Seminoles will take time away from the basketball court to celebrate the holiday season with their families and friends. The team will be back in Tallahassee after Christmas Day to begin preparations for No. 4 Duke on December 30, 2017 at 2:00 in Durham for their first ACC game of the season. Beginning with its game against Duke, the Seminoles play 18 consecutive ACC games before participating in the ACC Tournament March 6-10 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
FLORIDA STATE VS. SOUTHERN MISS – A SERIES HISTORY
Florida State plays host to Southern Miss at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee on December 21, 2017. The meeting in Tallahassee marks the 26th meeting between the two teams who were both members of the Metro Conference and met every year from 1983 through 1991. The Seminoles are 11-2 at home against Southern Miss in a series that dates back to the 1951-52 season. Doc Sadler, who is in his fourth season as the head coach at Southern Miss, has been the head coach at four schools – Arkansas-Fort Smith, Texas El-Paso, Nebraska and Southern Miss – and has only coached against Florida State once – last season’s 98-49 loss to the Seminoles. Chris Croft, an assistant coach on the Eagles’ staff, was an administrative assistant under the famed Eddie Sutton at Oklahoma State during the 1997 and 1998 season – Sutton was named the head coach at Oklahoma State after current Seminole head coach Leonard Hamilton left the Cowboys to take the head coaching job at Miami. Croft was also a program specialist at Nebraska under Sadler when the Seminoles defeated the Cornhuskers by a 74-60 margin on December 31, 2005 at the Orange Bowl Classic in Sunrise. Clarence Weatherspoon, also an Eagle assistant, played against Florida State five times (1988, 1990 and 1991) with the Seminoles wining all five games
FSU PLAYS HOST TO SOUTHERN MISS WITH A 26-GAME HOME WINNING STREAK
Florida State enters Thursday’s game against Southern Miss looking to win their 27th consecutive home game at the Donald L. Tucker Center. It’s a winning a streak that ranks as the third longest home court winning-streak in the nation. The Seminoles are 5-0 at home this season (with wins over George Washington, Kennesaw State, the Citadel, Loyola and Charleston Southern), were undefeated at home during the 2016-17 season (18-0) with wins over four ranked teams (No. 7 Duke, No. 12 Louisville, No. 15 Notre Dame and No. 21 Virginia Tech) and won their final three home games (against Notre Dame, Syracuse and Davidson in the NIT) to close the 2015-16 season. Florida State’s current home winning streak began with a 77-56 win over Notre Dame on Feb. 27, 2016. The Seminoles began the season with the fifth longest home court winning-streak in the nation. Florida State moved up to fourth with its first three wins of the season and into third when Oregon lost at home to Boise State at home on Dec. 1. The Ducks entered the season with a 46-game home court winning streak. Cincinnati currently holds the nation’s longest home winning streak. The Bearcats are home next against Arkansas Pine-Bluff on Tuesday (Dec. 19 at 7:00 p.m.) while SMU Cal Poly, also on Tuesday (Dec. 19, at 7:00 p.m. CST).
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Southern Miss and win its school record 27th consecutive home game at the Donald L. Tucker Center. The Seminoles have won each of their home games since a 77-56 win over Notre Dame on Feb. 27, 2016;
…Defeat Southern Miss and win its 26th consecutive non-conference home game at the Donald L. Tucker Center. The Seminoles’ 26-game streak is the second longest in the ACC behind Duke’s 138-game streak.
SEMINOLES OFF TO BEST START SINCE … LAST YEAR
At 10-1, Florida State is off to its best 11-game start the beginning of the 2016-17 season (last year) when the Seminoles also won 10 of their first 11 games. The Seminoles improved to 15-1 in 2016-17 before suffering their second loss of the season. Florida State begins play in its 12th game of a season with a 10-1 record for the fifth time in school history. The Seminoles have been 11-1 five times in school history – most recently during the 2016-17 season.
FLORIDA STATE IN THE NATIONAL STATISTICS
Florida State enters Thursday’s game against Southern Miss as one of only seven teams nationally with a winning percentage of 90 percent or better. The Seminoles are ranked in the top-35 teams nationally for field goal percentage defense (tied for 12th, .375), blocked shots per game (15th, 6.2 bpg), scoring margin (tied for 17th, +17.4 points per game), steals per game (tied for 21st, 9.0 spg), turnovers forced per game (27th, 17.4) and scoring offense (34th, 83.9 ppg).
FLORIDA STATE SHOOTING WELL FROM THE FIELD
Florida State enters Thursday’s game against Southern Miss ranked fifth in the ACC with a team field goal shooting percentage of .494. The Seminoles have shot 50 percent or better from the field in six of their 11 games including a .519 shooting percentage in their victory over Charleston Southern on Monday night in Tallahassee. Florida State’s season-high of .576 from the field (.552 in the first half and .600) in the second half) in its victory over Loyola ranks as one of two games during which the Seminoles shot better than 50 percent in both halves of the same game (also Kennesaw State, .549 percent). Florida State shot .483 from the field in finishing with a 26-9 record and last shot better than 50 percent from an entire season during the 1988-89 season when they shot .505 from the field in earning a 22-8 record.
SEMINOLES TIED FOR SECOND IN THE ACC IN FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE DEFENSE
Florida State has held each of its last three opponents under 39 percent shooting from the field and enters Thursday’s game against Southern Miss tied for second in the ACC with a field goal percentage defense mark of .375. In what has become head coach Leonard Hamilton’s most favorite statistic, the Seminoles led the nation in limiting their opponents from the field in both the 2009-10 seasons (.377 percent) and the 2010-11 season (.363). Florida State has limited its last three opponents to a .369 shooting percentage and an average of 60.3 points per game. The 53 points allowed to Tulane and the 58 points surrendered to Charleston Southern are two of the three lowest opponent point totals of the season. Florida State limited Fordham to 43 points in its 67-43 win over the Rams in the first round of the Jamaica Classic.