TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – After a week off between games to celebrate the holidays, the 13th-ranked Florida State Women’s Basketball team is back in action against Jacksonville on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
The Seminoles (11-1) face the Jacksonville Dolphins (9-4) for the seventh time. The in-state matchup will mark the fifth consecutive year the two teams have faced, with each game being played in Tallahassee. The game will air on ACC Network Extra and can be heard on Seminoles.com or locally on WQTL 106.1 FM.
For the third time in the last four years, both teams face each other in the first game following the Christmas holiday. On Dec. 29, 2014, FSU defeated JU 73-46, then faced the Dolphins again on Dec. 28, 2015, in a 77-60 victory.
The Seminoles look to continue their dominance over in-state opponents. Over their last 34 games against Florida schools, FSU has gone 30-4. This season, FSU is 3-0 against Sunshine State opponents which include home wins over UNF (109-51) and Stetson (84-39) and a road victory at rival Florida (84-54).
• Senior forward Shakayla Thomas has enjoyed a productive career against Jacksonville. In her first three meetings, she is averaging 17.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and shooting 23-of-35 (65.7 percent) from the floor. Her last two games against the Dolphins have included 20-point performances (23 points in 2015; 20 points in 2016).
• The Seminoles are coming off a crucial three-game stretch where they went 2-1 against three defending NCAA Tournament participants in Arizona State (W, 77-66), No. 8 Texas (L, 72-87) and Creighton (W, 92-82). Over the last three games against strong competition, redshirt senior point guard AJ Alix has stepped up mightily. She averaged 17.3 points, 8.3 assists, 59.4 percent shooting (19-of-32) and 46.7 percent from long range (7-of-15).
• Shakayla Thomas is on the cusp of another milestone: With 704 career field goals made, she is just eight shy of passing Seminole legend Natasha Howard (2010-14 – 711 field goals) for second-place all-time at FSU. Sue Galkantas’ 919 career field goals made appear safe. Thomas’ 704 made field goals is ninth among all active players.
• Florida State is working on an impressive run in which it has gone 44-2 in its last 46 games played at the Donald L. Tucker Center. This season, it is out-scoring opponents in its five home games by an average score of 91.6-54.0, which is an average scoring margin of +37.6.
• FSU’s first post-Christmas game has been Merry to them in recent years. The Seminoles have won their first game after Christmas in each of the last seven seasons.
• Six Seminoles are averaging double figures in home games this season: Shakayla Thomas (19.2), Imani Wright (17.2), AJ Alix (12.2), Chatrice White (12.0), Nicki Ekhomu (11.2) and Ama Degbeon (10.2).