January 2, 2009 - by
Florida State Plays Host To Texas A&M Corpus Christi Saturday At 4:00 P.M.

Jan. 2, 2009


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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State, which has won five of its last six games, plays its final regular season non-conference game of the season as it plays host to Texas A&M Corpus Christi on Saturday, January 3, 2009 at 4:00 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee. The Seminoles are playing their first game since defeating Western Kentucky, 82-69, in the Orange Bowl Classic on Dec. 28 in Sunrise, Fla., and their eighth home game of the season. The Seminoles are 7-1 at home this season and have won 50 of their 62 games (.806 winning percentage) in the last four seasons at home including 37 of their last 38 regular season non conference home games (.974 winning percentage). Florida State’s only regular season non-conference loss at home in the last four seasons came against No. 3/3 Pittsburgh (Dec. 21, 2008; 56-48) in its last home game. The Seminoles enter Saturday’s game against the Islanders looking to tie Florida State’s all-time record of 13 non-conference victories in a single season. Following Saturday’s game against Texas A&M Corpus Christi, the Seminoles will begin its 16-game ACC schedule against No. 5/5 Duke on Saturday, January 10 at 2:00 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center.

SEMINOLES DOUGLAS NAMED ACC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior All-ACC candidate Toney Douglas, who scored a game-high 27 points, pulled down five rebounds, earned five assists (against zero turnovers), blocked two shots and earned two steals in leading the Seminoles past Western Kentucky on Dec. 28, enters Saturday’s game against Texas A&M Corpus Christi as the ACC Player of the Week. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the Seminoles’ victory over the Hilltoppers at the Orange Bowl Classic. It marked the second time during his career that he has earned ACC Player of the Week honors.

SINGLETON ENJOYS EXPLOSIVE EFFORT IN VICTORY OVER HILLTOPPERS
Florida State freshman Chris Singleton scored his career-high of 18 points, pulled down six rebounds, blocked three shots, earned three assists and was credited with two steals as he helped the Seminoles improve to 12-2 with a victory against Western Kentucky in the Orange Bowl Classic. Singleton scored 18 points including 10 in the second half to lead the Seminoles to the come from behind victory. He also played large for the Seminoles on the boards with a team-high tying six rebounds.

LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Texas A&M Corpus Christi and win its 13th game of the season. The Seminoles won their 13th game of the 2007-08 season on Jan. 23 with a victory over Virginia;
…Defeat Texas A&M Corpus Christi and win its first game of the calendar year for the second consecutive season. The Seminoles began the 2008 calendar year with a victory over La Salle;
…Defeat Texas A&M Corpus Christi and improve its non-conference winning percentage to .867 (13-2). The Seminoles finished their non-conference schedule with a .714 winning percentage last season (10-4 record);
…Win its 13th non-conference record and tie the school record for non-conference victories in a single season. The Seminoles won 13 non-conference games during the 1988-89 season on its way to a 22-8 overall record and an NCAA Tournament appearance. Florida State was a Division I independent until the 1976-77 season when it joined the Metro Conference.

FLORIDA STATE’S TIES TO TEXAS A&M CORPUS CHRISTI
Florida State plays host to Texas A&M Corpus Christi on Jan. 3. The game against the Islanders pits two of the last three coaches at the University of Miami against each other – Leonard Hamilton (1991-2000) and Perry Clark (200-04). Also on the Islanders staff is assistant coach Kevin Norris – a former assistant coach at Tallahassee Community College and a standout player for Hamilton during his collegiate career at Miami. At Miami, Norris, a four-year letterman, was named to the Big East All-Rookie Team as a freshman. Later that season, he led UM to its first postseason appearance in 31 years with a National Invitation Tournament contest at Penn State.

FLORIDA STATE’S ASSIST AND TURNOVER STORY AGAINST WESTERN KENTUCKY
Led by five assists each by senior All-ACC candidate Toney Douglas (zero turnovers in 35 minutes played) and freshman Luke Loucks (in his first career start), Florida State was credited with a season-high 19 assists in its victory over Western Kentucky on Dec. 28 in the Orange Bowl Classic. The Seminoles previous season-high for assists was 17 in their victory over Charleston Southern on Dec. 18. Florida State’s 19 assists were the most by the Seminoles since earning 23 in their 95-55 victory over Maine on Dec. 8, 2007.

FLORIDA STATE’S TURNOVER STORY IN ITS WIN OVER WESTERN KENTUCKY
Florida State committed a season-low nine turnovers in its victory over Western Kentucky – its fewest number of turnovers since committing nine in its victory over Wake Forest in the first round of the 2008 ACC Tournament (March 13, 2008). The Seminoles committed only three turnovers in the final 20 minutes of the game in outscoring the Hilltoppers, 45-35, in the second half to gain its third victory in the history of the Orange Bowl Classic. After falling behind, 16-4, in the first 6:12 of the game with five turnovers, the Seminoles committed four turnovers in the final 33:48 of the game and outscored the Hilltoppers, 78-53, to gain their 12th victory of the season. No player had more than two turnovers for the Seminoles and three players (Solomon Alabi, Toney Douglas and Uche Echefu) were not charged with a turnover in the victory.

SEMINOLES ENJOY BEST ASSIST MARGIN OF SEASON AGAINST HILLTOPPERS
Florida State earned a +10 assist to turnover margin with 19 assists and only nine turnovers in its victory over Western Kentucky. It was the Seminoles best performance in sharing and holding onto the basketball since a 23 assist and eight turnover performance in an 86-67 victory over Miami on Jan. 20, 2007.

FLORIDA STATE RANKS SECOND IN ACC IN FIELD GOAL DEFENSE
Florida State, which has held six consecutive and 11 of its first 14 opponents under 40 percent shooting from the field, enters Saturday’s game against Texas A&M Corpus Christi ranked second in the ACC with a .370 field goal shooting percentage defense mark. Florida State is holding its opponents below 40 percent shooting combined in the first and second halves of its first 14 games with only 10 teams shooting better than 40 percent in a half this season. The Seminoles’ strong field goal percentage defense allows them to enter Saturday’s game tied for third in the ACC in scoring defense as they allow only 61.5 points per game.

SEMINOLES FROM THE FREE THROW LINE
Florida State made more free throws (16) than Western Kentucky attempted (15) to mark the seventh time in 14 games that the Seminoles had made more free throws than their opponents had attempted.

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATE
F #31 Chris Singleton (10.0 ppg, 6.4 rpg; Shooting .850 from FT line in seven home games in 08-09)
F #42 Ryan Reid (7.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg; Shooting .875 from FT line on seven home games in 08-09)
C #32 Solomon Alabi (7.0 ppg, 1.9 bpg; Averaging 9.4 ppg and 6.3 rpg in seven home games in 08-09)
G #2 Jordan DeMercy 4.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg; Averaging 4.6 ppg and 3.3 rpg in seven home games in 08-09)
G #23 Toney Douglas (18.5 ppg, 1.9 spg; Shooting .829 from FT line in seven home games in 08-09)
...AND TOP RESERVES
G #3 Luke Loucks (4.0 ppg, 2.6 apg; Owns a 1.8:1 assist:turnover ratio in seven home games in 08-09)
F #1 Xavier Gibson (2.7 ppg, 1.8 rpg; Shooting .727 from FT line in seven home games in 08-09)
G #4 Deividas Dulkys (3.4 ppg, 1.2 rpg; Averages 15.5 minutes played in four home games in 08-09)
G #22 Derwin Kitchen (7.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg; Shooting .529 from field in three home games in 08-09)
G #21 Brian Hoff (0.5 ppg, 0.3 rpg; Averaging 5.7 minutes played in three home games in 08-09)
F #41 Uche Echefu (7.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg; Shooting .783 from FT line in seven home games in 08-09)

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR TEXAS A&M CORPUS CHRISTI
F #5 Horace Bond (3.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg; 6 pts and 6 rebs vs. Texas A&M Kingsville, Nov. 14, 2008)
F #21 Demond Watt (9.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg; 14 pts and 7 rebs vs. Georgia, Dec. 22, 2008)
C #23 Justin Reynolds (9.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg; 13 pts and 3 rebs vs. Tulsa, Nov. 23, 2008)
G #1 LaMarr Drake (7.2 ppg, 3.4 apg; 12 pts and 3 asts vs. Oklahoma State, Dec. 14, 2008)
G #15 Kevin Palmer (15.8 ppg, 2.8 apg; 31 pts and 7 stls vs. Georgia, Dec. 22, 2008)

FLORIDA STATE VS. TEXAS A&M CORPUS CHRISTI- A SERIES HISTORY
The Series: The Series is tied, 1-1
Last Game: Nov. 22, 2004; Texas A&M CC 70, Florida State 67
Last Florida State Win: Jan. 6, 2003; at Florida State 72, Texas A&M CC 56
Last Texas A&M Corpus Christi Win: Nov. 22, 2004; Texas A&M CC 70, Florida State 67
Last Florida State Win In Tallahassee: Jan. 6, 2003; at Florida State 72, Texas A&M CC 56
Last Texas A&M CC win in Tallahassee: Nov. 22, 2004; Texas A&M CC 70, Florida State 67
Current Streak: Texas A&M Corpus Christi has won 1
Leonard Hamilton vs. Texas A&M CC: 1-1 (both at Florida State)

FLORIDA STATE VS. TEXAS A&M CORPUS CHRISTI – THE LAST GAME
Travis Bailey’s 3-pointer with 27 seconds to play broke a 65-all tie and his two free throws with four seconds left lifted Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to a 70-67 upset of Florida State on Nov. 22, 2004 at the Donald L. Tucker Center. Florida State guard Todd Galloway’s desperation 3-pointer as the final horn sounded bounced off of the rim. Bailey, one of four senior starters for the Division I independent Islanders, scored a career-high 29 points. It was the first win over an Atlantic Coast Conference team for the six-year old program, and arguably its biggest. The Seminoles scored the final 11 points to close the first half for a 36-32 lead, but couldn’t sustain that momentum. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi opened the second half with a 13-2 run as Florida State missed its first seven shots. After trailing by as many as eight points, the Seminoles got back in the game behind Al Thornton’s 15 points. FSU took its only lead of the second half at 61-60 with 4:22 to play on a pair of Von Wafer free throws. A pair of free throws by Josh Ervin and Seth Engelken’s 3-pointer gave the Islanders a 65-61 lead. Andrew Wilson tipped in a Thornton miss to tie the game at 65 before Bailey finished off the Seminoles.

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