TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – The Florida State women’s basketball team prepares for its first game of the season on the road as it travels to face Cincinnati on Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. ET at Fifth Third Arena.
Wednesday’s contest can be heard by tuning into 1270 AM WNLS or by accessing the Seminoles.com multimedia page. Season-long play-by-play man Jonathan Schillace will be on the call alongside color analyst Melissa Bruner.
The game between the Seminoles (1-0) and Bearcats (0-1) will also be video streamed on BearcatsTV at GoBearcats.com, with a CBS Sports subscription being required.
Florida State and Cincinnati meet for the first time since the 1990-91 season, when both teams were members of the Metro Conference. The `Noles lead the all-time series, 12-8, and have won the last five matchups.
FSU opened its 2013-14 season with a 93-59 victory over UNC Greensboro on Nov. 8. The 93 points scored by the `Noles were their most in a season opener since defeating North Florida, 99-50, on Nov. 13, 2009. Heading into Wednesday’s match, head coach Sue Semrau looks for FSU to keep up their pace and be aggressive on the offensive end.
“It’s unique being an attacking offense, and certainly we’ve got players on our team that like to attack,” Semrau said. “Even `Tasha (Natasha Howard), when she catches and turns up, she can be very dangerous. If you can’t put hands on her she can be real quick, so I think (the new rules) can really work to our advantage.”
Eight blocks were registered by FSU’s defense in its season opener, including four by freshman center Kai James. The eight blocks already match last year’s season high set against Georgia Tech on Jan. 3, 2013.
James’ block total was the highest single-game performance of any ACC player last weekend and helped FSU’s field-goal percentage defense. The `Noles held UNCG to 29.9 percent shooting from the field. Last season, FSU held four opponents below the 30 percent mark.
Another impressive debut was made by freshman forward Ivey Slaughter last Friday. She became the first FSU freshman in seven years to record a double-double (12 points, 11 rebounds) in a season opener. Former player and WNBA professional Jacinta Monroe was the last freshman to pick up a double-double on opening night, totaling 23 points and 21 boards vs. UAB on Nov. 12, 2006.
Senior All-America candidate Natasha Howard has gotten off to a fine start this season. The Toledo, Ohio, native tied her career high with 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting against UNC Greensboro, including 18 points in the second half. She will make her third trip home to play an Ohio-based school since joining the `Noles, having already faced Ohio State and Akron on the road.
Against the current members of the newly-formed American Athletic Conference, FSU is 84-46. Included in that record is a 33-4 overall mark against AAC member USF.
Wednesday’s game vs. the Bearcats marks Florida State’s first road contest of the season. The `Noles have won six of their past eight road openers, only losing in the 2005-06 season and the 2011-12 road opener.
Cincinnati is coming off a season-opening loss at Northern Kentucky, falling 77-61. The Bearcats were selected seventh in the inaugural season of the American Athletic Conference, and return 85.7 percent of their point production from last season as well as 84.8 percent of its rebounding.
One of Cincinnati’s top players is redshirt senior guard Dayeesha Hollins, who totaled 13 points in their game against Northern Kentucky and reached double figures in scoring 23 times last season. The Bearcats will rely on experience this year, with their projected starters including two juniors and three seniors.
Following Wednesday night’s matchup, the `Noles return to the Donald L. Tucker Center to host Prairie View on Sunday, Nov. 17, at 6 p.m. The game will be live streamed on ESPN3.com.
For more information on Florida State women’s basketball, follow the Seminoles on Twitter at @FSU_WBasketball and like their official Facebook page (Facebook.com/FSUWomensBasketball).