TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – No. 17/14 Florida State Women’s Basketball plays its first rivalry game of the season as it travels to Florida for a 7 p.m. tip-off on Friday night at the Fresh from Florida Sunshine Showdown. The game will be live-streamed on the SEC Network +, which is accessible through the WatchESPN app.
Fans interested in tuning into Friday’s action at the Exactech Arena can also listen to the game locally on WQTL 106.1 FM or worldwide on Seminoles.com. Ariya Massoudi and Melissa Bruner will once again handle all the action.
“We all know that they’re our rival. It’s not something we need to stress or talk about,” senior center Chatrice White said. “It’s another game, and we’re ready to play another game against a very good team.”
Florida State (2-0) enters with an unblemished early record after wins over UNF (109-51) and on the road at Jacksonville State (75-51). UF (1-1) is coming off a home loss to Arkansas State on Nov. 14 by a 70-69 score, but won its season opener 82-66 over Georgia State on Nov. 11 at home.
Following Friday’s game, FSU has a quick turnaround as it travels to Grambling State on Sunday, Nov. 19, for a 5 p.m. EST tip. Redshirt senior guard Imani Wright’s parents both attended Grambling State as star basketball players.
• No. 17/14 Florida State prepares for its 77th all-time meeting with rival Florida, including its 31st game played in Gainesville. FSU has defeated UF 10 times in their last 14 meetings, including six times in their last eight meetings.
• The Seminoles have made a habit of winning their in-state rivalry games in recent years. Since 2013, FSU has gone 14-4 against rivals Miami (11-3) and Florida (3-1). FSU’s lone loss to UF in that span was in its last trip to Gainesville on Nov. 16, 2015, falling 82-72 to the Gators in its season opener.
• Senior forward and ESPNW’s 19th-rated player Shakayla Thomas has had a productive career against Florida. The Sylacauga, Ala., native is averaging 12.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and shooting 50 percent (14-of-28) vs. the Gators.
All three of Thomas’ games in the rivalry have been double-figure scoring outputs, and last year she had 16 points to go along with five rebounds in an 83-58 win in Tallahassee.
• Over its last four wins vs. Florida, FSU’s margin of victory has been quite sizeable. Since 2012, FSU has defeated the Gators by 31 points (98-67 in Tallahassee; 2012), eight points (76-68 in Gainesville; 2013), 26 points (77-51 in Tallahassee; 2014) and 25 points (83-58 in Tallahassee, 2016).
• Redshirt senior point guard AJ Alix is proving to be a big difference early in the season. The two-time All-Big 12 player has churned out 12 assists to just one turnover forced in 62 minutes of action (31 minutes per game). Through the first two games, Alix leads FSU in field goal percentage (11-of-19 – 57.9 percent) and 3-point field goal percentage (7-of-13 – 53.8 percent).
• Perhaps most impressive in FSU’s first two games has been the emergence of sophomore guard Nicki Ekhomu. The native of Bolingbrook, Ill., is averaging a double-double with 17 points and 10.5 rebounds, having led the Seminoles on the glass in each of the first two games. In the season opener vs. UNF on Nov. 10, Ekhomu totaled 20 points and 13 rebounds in the 109-51 win.
• The Seminoles got their first road win of the season last game at Jacksonville State, coming away with a 75-51 win. FSU held the Gamecocks scoreless in the third quarter, out-scoring JSU 20-0 in the frame. FSU’s second-half defense held JSU scoreless for nearly 13 minutes (12:59).