February 17, 2006 - by
Florida State Plays Host To Virginia Saturday At 4 p.m.

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Feb. 17, 2006

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State, which has a 10-2 record (.833 winning percentage) at home this season, returns to the Donald L. Tucker Center to play host to the Virginia Cavaliers Saturday at 4:00 p.m. in a game televised regionally by Jefferson Pilot Sports. The Seminoles defeated the Cavaliers (Jan. 11, 87-82 in overtime) in Charlottesville the first time these two teams met earlier this season. Florida State has won five consecutive and six of the last seven home games against Virginia including last season’s 68-63 victory in Tallahassee. The Seminoles are 8-6 against Virginia in games played here in Tallahassee since joining the ACC for the 1991-92 season. Florida State enters Saturday’s game against Virginia having won three consecutive home games with ACC victories over Clemson (Feb. 1, 69-59) and Georgia Tech (Feb. 9, 80-79) and a non-conference victory over UMass (Feb. 12, 73-63). With ACC victories over Virginia Tech (Jan. 7, 74-68), Clemson and Georgia Tech, the Seminoles are looking for their fourth ACC home victory of the season (with home games against Maryland and Duke still on the schedule) which would surpass last year’s total of three home conference wins. The Seminoles have won five conference games this season and are looking to earn their sixth conference victory for the first time since the 2003-04 season when they finished their league schedule with a 6-10 record. Florida State enters its game against Virginia looking for a sweep of the regular season series for the first time since the 1997-98 season when it defeated the Cavaliers on the road (Feb. 4, 1998) 71-63 and at home (Feb. 28, 1998, 88-63). Following Saturday’s game against Virginia, the Seminoles will play host to Maryland (Feb. 22, 9:00 p.m.) in their only meeting with the Seminoles this season.

JUNIOR ALL-ACC CANDIDATE Al Thornton

Junior All-ACC candidate Al Thornton enters Saturday’s game against Virginia ranked 11th in the ACC in scoring with a career-high 16.4 points per game average, 13th in the ACC in rebounding with a career-high 6.7 rebounds per game average and sixth in the ACC with a .538 field goal shooting percentage. He is looking to become the first Seminole player since Bob Sura during the 1993-94 season to rank in the top 10 in the ACC in both scoring and rebounding. Sura earned All-ACC First-Team honors during the 1993-94 season.

LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…

…Defeat Virginia and earn their sixth ACC win of the season. The Seminoles most recently won six conference games during the 2003-04 and 1999-00 seasons. Florida State defeated the Cavaliers during both of those seasons;
…Defeat Virginia and earn a regular season two-game sweep of the Cavaliers. It would mark the Seminoles’ first regular season sweep of an ACC opponent since they swept Clemson during the 2000-01 season;
…Defeat Virginia and win its fifth consecutive home game against the Cavaliers. The Seminoles defeated Clemson in six straight home games from the 1999-2004 season for the longest home court winning streak against an ACC opponent in school history;
…Defeat Virginia and even its record at 6-6 after 12 games in league play. The last time the Seminoles were at .500 in the league or better was during the 19992-93 season when they were 10-2 after 12 league games.

WILSON TO TIE SCHOOL RECORD AGAINST VIRGINIA
Sixth-year senior Andrew Wilson will tie the all-time Florida State record for games played in a career, 122, when he steps onto the court against Virginia on Saturday. He has played in 121 career games since beginning his career with an eight-point performance against Florida on Nov. 17, 2000. Wilson will tie former Seminoles Rodney Dobard (1990-93) and Adam Waleskowski (2002-05) in the career games played category. Wilson has played in 121 of 174 possible career games and has received two medical redshirts during his career.

SEMINOLES ENTER VIRGINIA GAME LOOKING TO EARN 6TH ACC WIN
…Florida State enters Saturday’s game against Virginia looking to gain its sixth ACC win in its first 12 games which would mark the third earliest ever and the earliest the Seminoles have earned six ACC win in 13 years (since the 1993-94 season);
…During the 1992-1993 season (The Seminoles’ second season in the ACC), Florida State finished 12-4 in the ACC and earned its sixth ACC win in its eighth 8th attempt that season against Georgia Tech (Jan. 31, 1993, 96-77);
…During the 1991-1992 season (Florida State’s first in the ACC), the Seminoles finished 11-5 in the ACC and won their sixth 6th ACC game in their ninth attempt against Wake Forest (Feb. 1, 1992, 79-78);
…From 1993-1994 to last season, the Seminoles have not won more than six games in any ACC season. The Seminoles have been at .500 after 10 games of the ACC only three times since the 1994 season.
…During the 1997-98 season (the Seminoles’ last trip to the NCAA Tournament), Florida State was 5-5 in the ACC heading into a Feb. 7, 1998 game at home against Maryland. The Seminoles led for 37 minutes before falling, 68-62. That loss led to a five-game losing streak and a berth in the NCAA Tournament with a 6-10 league record;
…During the 1998-1999 season, the Seminoles won five of their first seven ACC games (which matched the best ACC start in school history) but closed the season with nine consecutive league losses.

NOTING THE SEMINOLES AT HOME UNDER Leonard Hamilton
Florida State enters Saturday’s game against Virginia with a 10-2 record in games played at the Donald L. Tucker Center this season. The Seminoles have won five of their last seven home games with their only miscues coming as a one-point loss to No. 23/23 North Carolina (Jan. 22, 81-80) and a overtime loss against Miami (Jan. 29, 78-84). The Seminoles are outscoring their opponents by an average of +15.4 points per game (82.8-67.4) and are shooting .504 from the field (344-of-683) in their 12 home games. Florida State is 45-17 (.726 winning percentage) – including 3-0 against Virginia – at home under head coach Leonard Hamilton.

KEEPING AN EYE ON THE SEMINOLES IN THE STEALS COLUMN
Florida State enters Saturday’s game against Virginia ranked third in the ACC with a 9.64 steals per game average. The Seminoles have 212 steals in the first 21 games of the 2005-06 season – only four fewer steals in 10 fewer games – then they had during the entire 2004-05 season. The Seminoles ranked tenth in the ACC in steals with a 6.97 steals per game average last season. Senior Todd Galloway led the Seminoles with 35 steals in 31 games last season (1.1 spg). Galloway leads the Seminoles again this season with 41 steals in 21 games (1.95 spg) this season.

SEMINOLES SHOOT ABOVE 70-PERCENT SUCCESS RATE FROM FREE THROW LINE
Florida State shot .905 from the free throw line (19-of-21) in its victory over UMass and enters Saturday’s game against Virginia shooting a season-high .707 from the free throw line. Junior Alexander Johnson led the Seminoles against the Minutemen as he made nine of 10 attempts (including seven of eight in the second half). The Seminoles have shot better than 90 percent from the line in two of the last four games (also .909 at Duke).

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATE...
F	#12	Al Thornton (16.4 ppg, 6.7 rpg; 22 pts and 9 rebs vs. Virginia, 1/11/06)
F	#32	Alexander Johnson (12.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg; 16 pts and 9 rebs vs. Virginia, 1/11/06)
G	#3	Isaiah Swann (8.7 ppg, 3.1 apg; 17 pts and 3 ast vs. Virginia, 1/11/06)
G	#4	Todd Galloway (7.6 ppg, 3.4 apg; 7 pts and 6 ast vs. Virginia, 1/11/06)
G	#21	Jason Rich (10.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg; 12 pts and 4 rebs vs. Virginia, 1/11/06)
...AND TOP RESERVES
G	#20	Andrew Wilson (6.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg; 9 pts and 7 rebs vs. Virginia, 3/6/05)
F	#25	Diego Romero (4.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg; 8 pts and 2 rebs vs. Virginia, 1/11/06)
G	#10	Ralph Mims (4.0 ppg, 1.4 rpg; 2 pts and 2 asts vs. Virginia, 1/11/06)
G	#11	Jerel Allen (3.6 ppg, 1.6 rpg; 2 pts vs. Virginia, 1/11/06)
F	#15	Casaan Breeden (3.2 ppg, 1.4 rpg; 0 pts and 1 reb vs. Virginia, 1/11/06)
F	#41	Uche Echefu (2.6 ppg, 1.5 rpg; 0 pts vs. Virginia, 1/11/06)

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR VIRGINIA
F	#30	Adrian Joesph (10.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg; 9pts and 4 rebs vs. Florida State, 1/11/06)
F	#33	Jason Cain (8.7 ppg, 8.2 rpg; 8 pts and 6 rebs vs. Florida State, 1/11/06)
C	#21	Tunji Soroye (2.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg; 6 pts and 3 rebs vs. Florida State, 1/11/06)
G	#2	J.R. Reynolds (18.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg; 17 pts and 4 rebs vs. Florida State, 1/11/06)
G	#44	Seam Singletary (18.4ppg, 4.4 rpg; 27 pts and 5 rebs vs. Florida State, 1/11/06)

FLORIDA STATE VS. VIRGINIA -- A SERIES HISTORY
The Series: Virginia  16-13
Last Game: Jan. 11, 2006: Florida State 87, Virginia 82
Last Florida State Win: Jan.11, 2006: Florida State 87, Virginia 82
Last Virginia Win: Feb. 9, 2005: Virginia 56, Florida State 55
Last Florida State Win In Tallahassee: March 6, 2005: Florida State 68, Virginia 63
Last Virginia Win In Tallahassee: Feb. 17, 2001: Virginia 69, Florida State 66
Florida State vs. Virginia, Current Streak: Florida State 2
Leonard Hamilton vs. Virginia: 5-4

FLORIDA STATE VS. VIRGINIA – THE LAST GAME
Al Thornton scored 21 points and Alexander Johnson had 16 to lead Florida State past Virginia, 87-82, in overtime on Jan. 11 at University Hall in Charlottesville. The Seminoles scored the last five points in regulation to tie it at 77, then added five of the first six in overtime. Ralph Mims, a 94 percent free throw shooter for the Seminoles, hit a pair with 10.7 seconds left to give Florida State an 85-82 lead, and Thornton got a hand on J.R. Reynolds’ 3-point try in the final seconds to preserve the Seminoles’ victory. Sean Singletary led Virginia with 27 points and Reynolds had 17. In the overtime, Johnson scored down low to break the tie, and Thornton followed a free throw by Reynolds by making two of his own. Another by Johnson made it 82-78. The game was tied at 77 when the Seminoles inbounded with 39 seconds left. Florida State thought it had grabbed the lead on Thornton’s driving basket with 19.4 seconds left, but he was called for charging, giving Virginia a shot. This time, they worked the ball around before Mamadi Diane tried a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the right corner, but the shot came up well short, bringing the OT. Jason Rich added 12 points for the Seminoles.

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