Dec. 21, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Coming off an overtime road victory over No. 15 Georgia Tech in the ACC opener on Sunday, Florida State (10-2, 1-0 ACC) looks to continue its winning ways on Tuesday as the Seminoles host Tennessee-Martin (1-8, 0-1 OVC) at 7:00 p.m. inside the Donald L. Tucker Center.
Florida State, which has won four consecutive games including its ACC opener,enters Tuesday’s game against Tennessee-Martin with a 10 game home winning streak. The Seminoles are facing the Skyhawks for just the second time in school history and the first time in over 25 years. The last meeting between the two programs came on Dec. 18, 1984. Florida State head basketball coach Leonard Hamilton will face-off against his alma mater for the first time in his 21-year coaching career. Hamilton earned his bachelor’s degree from Tennessee-Martin in 1971. Following Tuesday night’s game, the Seminoles will take a holiday break before returning to action on Dec. 31, 2009 against Alabama A&M at 4:00 p.m. in Tallahassee.
ALABI CONTINUES TO SHINE
All-American candidate Solomon Alabi, a candidate for the Wooden and Naismith Awards recognizing the best player in college basketball, blocked four more shots in Sunday night’s victory over No. 15 Georgia Tech, moving Alabi into sixth place all-time at Florida State in career blocked shots. Alabi now has 117 blocked shots in his career. The Seminole sophomore has now blocked three or more shots in each of the last three games. Alabi dominated the paint against the Yellow Jackets scoring nine points, pulling down 12 rebounds and matching his season-high of 32 minutes in defeating the No. 15 ranked team in the country. Alabi enters Tuesday night’s contest against Tennessee-Martin averaging 17.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.8 blocked shots in the Seminoles’ last five games. He is shooting 65.3 percent (32-of-49) from the field in those five games and ranks sixth in the ACC with an 80.8 percent free throw shooting mark this season.
Leonard Hamilton COACHING AGAINST HIS ALMA MATER
Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton was recruited to play at Tennessee-Martin in 1969 by Floyd Burdette – the winningest coach in Skyhawks men’s basketball history. Hamilton played at Tennessee-Martin from 1969-71 and holds the distinction of being the first African-American to ever suit up for an athletics program at the school. As a senior, Hamilton served as a team captain and received the team’s Most Valuable Player Award and the Best Defensive Player Award. He received his bachelor’s degree in physical education from the school in 1971.
NOTING FLORIDA STATE’S WIN AT GEORGIA TECH
Florida State’s 66-59 overtime victory at No. 15 Georgia Tech on Sunday night marked the second time in three seasons that the Seminoles have won their ACC opener and the third consecutive season that Florida State has won their first road game in conference play. The victory marked the first time the Seminoles had defeated a ranked team to begin conference play since Dec. 28, 2003 when they knocked off No. 24 Maryland 79-75 in Tallahassee. It is the first time Florida State has ever beaten a ranked opponent on the road to begin ACC play.
FLORIDA STATE VS. TENNESSEE-MARTIN – A SERIES HISTORY
The Series: Florida State leads, 1-0
Last Game: Dec. 18, 1984; at Florida State 90, UT-Martin 73
Last Florida State Win: Dec. 18, 1984; at Florida State 90, UT-Martin 73
Last UT-Martin Win: None
Last Florida State Win in Tallahassee: Dec. 18, 1984; at Florida State 90, UT-Martin 73
Last UT-Win in Tallahassee: None
Current Streak: Florida State has won 1
Leonard Hamilton vs. UT-Martin: First Meeting
FLORIDA STATE VS. TENNESSEE MARTIN – THE LAST GAME
Dec. 18, 1984
at Florida State 90
UT Martin 73
FLORIDA STATE VS. TENNESSEE MARTIN – THE LAST GAME
Florida State’s Alton Lee Gipson scored 27 points to lead the Seminoles to a 90-73 win over Tennessee-Martin on Dec. 18, 1984 at the Tallahassee Leon County Civic Center (now known as the Donald L. Tucker Center.). Gipson led four Seminoles in double figure scoring as Florida State took the lead early and held it for virtually the entire game. In addition to Gipson’s 27 points, the Seminoles received 18 points from Joe Ferrar, 16 from Randy Allen and 10 from Granville Arnold. The Seminoles led the game 50-42 at halftime and extended their lead to 17 and their final winning margin of 90-73. Florida State’s victory over Tennessee-Martin was its fourth of 14 wins in a 14-16 season. The Seminoles’ finished with a 4-7 record and in seventh place finish in Metro Conference play. Gipson led the Seminoles with an 18.9 points per game scoring average and a 7.8 rebounds per game average in earning All-Metro Conference honors for the second time in his career. He was an All-Metro Conference First Team selection in 1983 and an All-Metro Conference Second Team selection in 1985 – the season the Seminoles defeated Tennessee-Martin.
REID HAS CAREER DAY AT GEORGIA TECH
Senior Ryan Reid has played in 107 career games but has never scored as many points as he did when he dropped 17 against No. 15 Georgia Tech on Sunday night. Reid scored 10 of his 17 points in the second half or overtime and had several important plays down the stretch leading Florida State to the victory. With 3:58 left in regulation, Reid took a pass inside from Singleton and made a basket as he was fouled to put the Seminoles up by seven. After Georgia Tech cut the lead to three, Reid went back to work again in the paint with a layup at the 2:06 mark in the second half. Reid continued his timely scoring in overtime, making a mid-range jump shot from the baseline on Florida State’s first possession of the extra frame, cutting the deficit to one point. In typical Reid fashion, he made his presence felt most when he took a charge with 0:19 remaining in overtime that gave Florida State possession of the basketball with a four-point lead and a chance to ice the game at the free throw line.
For complete notes for Tuesday’s game against UT-Martin, see the PDF listed above.