Dec. 4, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla –
Florida State, fresh from its 70-66 victory over No. 4 ranked Florida Sunday in Tallahassee, travels to plays Stetson on Tuesday night in a game beginning at 7:00 p.m. The Seminoles gained their fifth victory of the season as they defeated the Gators behind 28 points and nine rebounds from All-America, National and ACC Player of the Year candidate Al Thornton. The victory marked Florida State’s first win of the season over a nationally ranked team. The Seminoles have now won 19 of their last 22 (.864 winning percentage) home games and three of their last six non-conference road games dating to its victory over Jacksonville in its 2005-06 season-opener. Following Tuesday night’s game against Stetson the Seminoles travel to play at Georgia State (Dec. 7, 7:00 p.m.) before returning home to play host to Southeastern Louisiana (Dec. 10, 2 p.m.). The Seminoles take a break for semester exams after their game against the Lions and do not play from Dec. 11 through Dec. 18 when they play host to High Point.
THORNTON ENJOYS OUTSTANDING WEEK
All-America, National and ACC Player of the Year candidate Al Thornton averaged 19.0 points and 7.0 rebounds and shot 60 percent from the field in leading the Seminoles to a 1-1 week including a victory over No. 4 Florida to mark the 17th consecutive season Florida State had defeated at least one ranked team. Thornton averaged 30 minutes in the pair of games as the Seminoles improved their record to 5-2. He scored his season-high of 28 points against the formerly No. 1 ranked Gators. He was masterful in dissecting the Gators as he scored 18 second-half points to lead Florida State to the 70-66 victory over their SEC in-state rivals. Thornton hit two free throws with four seconds remaining to give the Seminoles an insurmountable 70-66 lead. He was nearly perfect from the field in the second half (six of seven — .857) and was nearly as strong from the free throw line (five-of-seven — .714). He made four of his final five free throws in the final seven minutes of the game as the Gators closed to within as few as two points before Florida State took the win. Thornton scored 10 of the Seminoles final 12 points in the final 7:35 of the game as the Seminoles gained their biggest win of the season.
DOUGLAS CONTINUES TO IMPRESS FOR THE SEMINOLES
Sophomore guard Toney Douglas scored eight points, pulled down two rebounds and had two steals in the Seminoles’ victory over Florida. His lay-up with 3:02 left gave the Seminoles a 64-59 lead. Douglas is second on the team with a 14.0 points per game average and has scored in double figures in five of Florida State’s seven games this season.
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Stetson and gain its first road victory of the season after play at then No. 3 ranked Pittsburgh (Nov. 24) and then No. 13 Wisconsin (Nov. 28);
…Defeat Stetson and gain its 12th consecutive victory over the Hatters in a series that dates back to the 1947-48 season – the first season of Seminole basketball. The Seminoles’ current streak of 11 consecutive victories over the Hatters began during the 1975-76 season;
…Defeat Stetson and win their third road game played in the state of Florida against a team from Florida in its last four games. The Seminoles opened the 2005-06 season with a win at Jacksonville (78-48, Nov. 19, 2005), played at Florida (66-74, Nov. 25, 2005) and won at Miami (67-64, March 5, 2006). The Seminoles also defeated Nebraska in Sunrise, Fla. (74-60, Dec. 31, 2005) in the Orange Bowl Classic.
THORNTON GAINING STEAM IN QUEST FOR 1,000 CAREER POINTS
All-America, National and ACC Player of the Year candidate Al Thornton scored his season-high of 28 points in the Seminoles’ victory over No. 4 Florida. He has now scored 949 points and needs only 51 points to become the 38th player in school history to score 1,000 or more career points. Thornton enters Tuesday’s game against Stetson ranked 43rd in school history in scoring and averages 9.9 points per game for his 96-game career.
SEMINOLES AGAINST THE SUNSHINE STATE UNDER HAMILTON
Florida State has an 11-7 record against teams from the state of Florida under fifth-year head coach Leonard Hamilton. The Seminoles are 4-0 against Stetson under Hamilton and have defeated either Florida or Miami in each of his five seasons as head coach in Tallahassee.
Seminoles Against In-State Teams Under Hamilton Season Record Signature Win 2002-03 2-1 Defeated Miami at home, 72-55 2003-04 2-1 Defeated Miami on road, 67-58 2004-05 3-3 Defeated Florida at home, 82-69 2005-06 3-2 Defeated Miami on road, 67-64 2006-07 1-0 Defeated Florida at home, 70-66 Totals 11-7 4-0 against Stetson as FSU Head Coach
SEMINOLES CUT DOWN TURNOVERS AND DEFEAT FLORIDA
Florida State committed a season-low 10 turnovers and allowed a season-low eight points off those turnovers in its victory over No. 4 Florida. The Seminoles entered the game averaging 17.8 turnovers per game and committed nearly eight fewer than their season average in gaining the monumental victory over the Gators. Florida State committed a total of 37 turnovers (18.5 turnover/game) in its two games against nationally ranked Pittsburgh and Wisconsin.
FLORIDA STATE CONTINUES TO SHOOT WELL FROM THE FREE THROW LINE
Florida State shot .733 from the free throw line in its victory over No. 4 Florida and enters Tuesday’s game against Stetson shooting .717 from the line for the season. The Seminoles made eight of 11 attempts from the line in the second half of their victory over the Gators to secure the win. Florida State’s .717 team free throw shooting percentage currently ranks as the fifth highest in school history.
FLORIDA STATE HAS INCREASED ITS BLOCK-ABILITY
Led by Uche Echefu’s career-high two blocked shots in Florida State blocked four shots in its victory over No. 4 Florida. The Seminoles have now blocked 61 shots in the first seven games of the season (3.3 blocks per game). After ranking 12th in the ACC in blocked shots during the 2005-06 season (2.4 bpg) the Seminoles enter Tuesday night’s game against Stetson averaging nearly 1.2 blocked shots more this season as compared to last season. Florida State had 72 blocked shots in 30 games last season and already has 23 blocked shots in seven games this season.
LIMITED FOULS AND OPPONENTS FREE THROWS A GOOD SIGN FOR SEMINOLES
Florida State committed only 14 fouls and sent Florida to the free throw line only 15 times in its 70-66 victory over the Gators. Florida State’s opponents are averaging 14.2 free throws attempted in the Seminoles’ five wins and 20.5 free throws in the Seminoles’ two losses.
PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATE F #12 Al Thornton (16.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg; 17 pts and 6 rebs vs. Stetson, Dec. 20, 2005) F #41 Uche Echefu (7.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg; 0 pts and 1 reb vs. Stetson, Dec. 20, 2005) G #3 Isaiah Swann (7.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg; 5 pts and 3 stls vs. Stetson, Dec. 20, 2005) G #23 Toney Douglas (14.0 ppg, 3.0 apg; First career game vs. Stetson) G #25 Jason Rich (8.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg; 11 pts and 4 rebs vs. Stetson, Dec. 20, 2005) ...AND TOP RESERVES G #10 Ralph Mims (4.7 ppg, 1.9 rpg; 2 pts and 2 asts vs. Stetson, Dec. 20, 2005) G #11 Jerel Allen (6.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg; 2 rebs and 2 stls vs. Stetson, Dec. 20, 2005) F #15 Casaan Breeden (2.1 ppg, 0.7 rpg; 4 pts and 1 stl vs. Stetson, Dec. 20, 2005) F #42 Ryan Reid (2.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg; First career game vs. Stetson)
PROBABLE STARTERS FOR STETSON F #21 Eric Diaz (9.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg; 5 pts and 3 rebs vs. Florida State, Dec. 20, 2005) C #35 Collins Okafor (4.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg; First career game against Florida State) G #1 Gabe McMillen (9.0 ppg, 3.6 apg; 11 pts and 2 asts vs. Florida State, Dec. 20, 2005) G #14 Garfield Blair (13.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg; 4 pts and 4 rebs vs. Florida State, Dec. 20, 2005) G #31 Kris Thomas (12.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg; 11 pts and 3 stls vs. Florida State, Dec. 20, 2005)
FLORIDA STATE VS. STETSON - A SERIES HISTORY The Series: Florida State leads, 35-11 Last Game: Dec. 20, 2005; Florida State 75, Stetson 57 Last Florida State Win: Dec. 20, 2005; Florida State 75, Stetson 57 Last Stetson Win: March 5, 1975; Stetson 63, Florida State 54 Last Florida State Win at DeLand: Dec. 30, 2003; Florida State 87, Stetson 72 Last Stetson Win at DeLand: March 5, 1975; Stetson 63, Florida State 54 Current Streak vs. Stetson: Florida State has won 11 Leonard Hamilton vs. Stetson: 4-0
LORIDA STATE VS. STETSON – THE LAST TIME
Alexander Johnson scored 20 points to lead Florida State to a 75-57 victory over Stetson on Dec. 20, 2005 in Tallahassee. Al Thornton added 17 points for the Seminoles who led the Hatters 30-29 at the intermission. Todd Galloway added 11 points and a career-best six steals. Anthony Register scored 17 points to lead Stetson. Register’s 3-pointer at the 13:16 mark in the first half gave the Hatters a 19-13 lead, but the Seminoles responded with a 14-2 run. Of Florida State’s 30 first-half points, 17 came courtesy of Stetson turnovers and 23 were sent to the books via slam dunks, lay-ups or free throws. Guards Gabe McMillen and Kris Thomas chipped in 11 apiece for the Hatters. The Seminoles worked their smaller opponents for 48 points in the paint, 30 of which came in the decisive second half.