TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – The Florida State Women’s Basketball team looks to continue its hot-shooting start to the season as it travels to Denton, Texas, for the Hospitality Hill Challenge hosted by North Texas this weekend at the Super Pit.
The Seminoles (2-0) open the tournament with Eastern Illinois (0-2) on Friday evening at 6 p.m. ET/5 p.m. CT. FSU finishes the weekend facing UMass on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. ET/noon CT.
Both games this weekend can be heard on WQTL – 106.1 FM. Live audio can also be heard for free on the Seminole Gameday App and on Seminoles.com.
“It’s early in everyone’s season,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “We know what we need to do this weekend. We need to be able to handle things on the road, especially for our newcomers. These early-season games help provide a quick turnaround that gets us used to the format during the NCAA postseason.”
This weekend’s first trip away from Tallahassee marks sort of a homecoming for redshirt senior guard Maegan Conwright. The talented point guard and floor general is from Arlington, Texas, roughly less than an hour away from North Texas’ home site. Conwright scored a career-high 19 points on opening night against UAB.
FSU’s matchup with Eastern Illinois marks the second of five first-time meetings on the Noles’ season schedule. FSU got one out of the way by defeating Bethune-Cookman its last game, 103-34, and play two more consecutively in Eastern Illinois and UMass. The other unfamiliar opponents on the schedule include Hartford in Cancun, Mexico (Nov. 29) and Savannah State (Dec. 19).
FSU has performed very well in recent years in regular-season tournament games. Since the 2009-10 season, the Noles are 10-2 in these types of games. In tournaments where a champion is crowned, FSU has won three titles in the last four years – the 2010 Junkanoo Jam, the 2012 San Juan Shootout and the 2013 Long Beach Classic.
The Noles are looking to start 3-0 for the ninth time under 18-year head coach Sue Semrau, including the eighth time in the last 11 seasons. The last time FSU was in the state of Texas for a regular-season game was seven years ago on Dec. 6, 2007, at Texas A&M.
Florida State has scored 90+ points in each of its first two games for the first time in program history (92 against UAB, 103 against Bethune-Cookman). It was the third ACC team this season to top the 100-point mark when it defeated Bethune-Cookman 103-34. A key has been its execution in the paint, outscoring its first two opponents 102-36 in the low post.
Junior guard Emiah Bingley leads the Noles so far in +/- differential. With Bingley’s ferocious defense and improved shooting in the game, FSU is +71 (117/46) this season. Fellow junior Adut Bulgak has been an imposing force on the inside, shooting 15-of-20 from the floor in her first two games. She has FSU’s lone double-double this season with an 18-point, 13-rebound performance last game.
Through the first two games this season, FSU is averaging 32.5 points off the bench, led by the scoring of freshman Shakayla Thomas (12.5 ppg) and Bingley (10.5 ppg).
Contributions have been aplenty for the Noles in the first two games. Nine Seminole student-athletes have averaged double-digit minutes so far this season, led by Maegan Conwright’s 28 minutes per game.
Eastern Illinois dropped its first two games to Kansas City (53-49) and IUPUI (66-44). Sabina Oroszova leads the Panthers in scoring at 12.5 points per game.
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