December 4, 2009 - by
No. 21 Florida State vs. FIU

Dec. 4, 2009



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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
No. 21 Florida State, which has won six of its first eight games of the 2009-10 season, plays host to Florida International and its head coach Isiah Thomas on Sunday Dec. 6 at 1:00 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee. The Seminoles return home for their third home game of the season (and first since Nov. 18) after playing their last six games on the road. Florida State earned a 4-2 record on the road with trips to Gainesville (to play Florida), Orlando (to play Iona, Alabama and Marquette) and Columbus, Ohio (to play Ohio State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.) The Seminoles won the championship of the Old Spice Classic with three victories over the Thanksgiving Holiday and enter Sunday’s game against FIU ranked 21st in the nation in this week’s Associated Press poll. The Seminoles’ game against FIU is their first of three consecutive home games which matches their longest home stand of the season as they play three consecutive ACC games at the Donald L. Tucker Center in January against NC State (Jan. 12), Virginia Tech (Jan. 16) and Georgia Tech (Jan. 24). Following Sunday’s game against FIU, the Seminoles will take a week-long break for semester final exams then play host to Georgia State on Dec. 15 at 7:00 p.m.

SEMINOLES RANKED 21ST NATIONALLY
Florida State is ranked 21st in this week’s Associated Press poll and will play their second game of the season as a ranked team as it plays host to FIU on Sunday. The Seminoles are one of four ACC teams included in this week’s AP Poll with Duke, North Carolina and Clemson also included in the national rankings. Florida State finished the 2008-09 season ranked 16th in the final AP poll of the season and 22nd in the final ESPN/USA Today poll of the year as they finished with a 25-10 record and a 10-6 mark in the ACC. The Seminoles played in the ACC Tournament championship game for the first time in school history and were the No. 5 seed in the East Regional of the NCAA Tournament last season.

ALABI EARNS THIRD CAREER DOUBLE-DOUBLE
All-America candidate Solomon Alabi, who is a candidate for the Naismith and Wooden awards as the nation’s top collegiate player, scored 21 points and pulled down 10 rebounds against Ohio State on Wednesday night to earn the first double-double of his sophomore season and the third of his career. His 21 points against the Buckeyes ranks as his career-high while his 10 rebounds ranks as the third highest total of his career. Alabi enters Sunday’s game against FIU averaging a career-high 11.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and a career-high 2.4 blocked shots per game.

SINGLETON NAMED MVP OF OLD SPICE CLASSIC
Florida State forward Chris Singleton, who was named the tournament Most Valuable Player in leading the Seminoles to the Old Spice Classic Championship, averaged 14.0 points, 8.3 rebounds and scored in double figures in all three games during the tournament.

LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat FIU and win its ninth consecutive non-conference home game against a team from the state of Florida. The Seminoles’ current steak began on Dec. 21, 2004 against Jacksonville;
…Defeat FIU and win its fourth straight non-conference home game;
…Defeat FIU and win its first game while playing as a ranked team this season. The Seminoles were 2-4 while playing as a ranked team during the 2008-09 season.

SEMINOLES GOING TO THE BOARDS
Led by Chris Singleton’s team-leading 8.1 rebounds per game average the Seminoles have outrebounded seven of their first eight opponents of the season and enter Sunday’s game against FIU with a +8.6 rebounds per game margin. Florida State outrebounded Ohio State by 10 (44-34) on Wednesday night in Columbus during the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and outrebounded Stetson by 26 rebounds (50-24) in defeating the Hatters on Nov. 18 in Tallahassee. The Seminoles are currently ranked fifth in the ACC with a +8.6 rebounds per game margin after ranking 11th during the 2008-09 season with a +0.9 rebounds per game mark.

FLORIDA STATE BY THE OUTREBOUNDING NUMBERS
…Florida State has outrebounded five of its last six opponents entering Sunday’s game against FIU;
…Florida State has outrebounded seven of its eight opponents this season. Mercer, in an 89-50 Seminole victory is the only team that has outrebounded the Seminoles’ this season;
…Florida State has outrebounded 12 of its last 14 opponents dating back to March 3, 2009. The only two teams the Seminoles have been outrebounded by are at Mercer (Nov. 21, 2009) and at Duke (March 3, 2009).

SEMINOLES LEAD THE ACC IN FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE DEFENSE
Florida State leads the ACC with a .344 field goal percentage defense mark and has held each of its eight opponents under 47 percent shooting from the field. The Seminoles have held each of its last 35 opponents and 41 of its last 43 opponents over the last two seasons under 50 percent shooting from the field. The only team to shoot better than 50 percent form the field against Florida State in the last two seasons was Northwestern (.529) in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Dec. 3, 2008 in Evanston, Ill. Only one other team, Coastal Carolina on Nov. 22, 2008, has shot 50 percent (11-22, .500) from the field in the last two seasons. The Seminoles led the ACC in field goal percentage defense as it allowed its 35 opponents to shoot a combined .387 from the field in finishing with a 25-10 record.

FLORIDA STATE LEADS ACC IN BLOCKED SHOTS
Led by All-America candidate Solomon Alabi’s 2.4 blocked shots per game average, the Seminoles hold a 59-14 (+45) advantage in blocked shots and have earned more blocked shots than their opponent in seven of the first eight games of the season. Florida State enters Sunday’s game against FIU averaging an ACC-leading 7.4 blocked shots per game after ranking second in the ACC with a 5.8 blocked shots per game average during the 2008-09 season. The Seminoles have earned more blocked shots than their opponents in four consecutive and seven of the last eight seasons.

FLORIDA STATE IS THE TOP SHOT BLOCKING TEAM IN THE ACC
Florida State enters Sunday’s game against FIU as the team leaders in blocked shots in the ACC with 59 blocks and a 7.4 blocked shots per game average. Three Seminoles – Solomon Alabi (2.4 bpg, tied for 1st,), Xavier Gibson (1.8 bpg, 5th) and Chris Singleton (1.4 bpg, tied for 10th) – are ranked in the top ten in the ACC in blocked shots making Florida State the only team in the ACC with three players ranked in the leagues top 10 for blocked shots.

SEMINOLES SPREADING THE SCORING AROUND
All-America candidate Solomon Alabi led Florida State in scoring against Ohio State as he totaled a career-high 21 points against the Buckeyes. It marked the second time this season (also in the season opener against Jacksonville) that Alabi has led Florida State in scoring. With seven different Seminoles averaging more then 6.0 or more point scored per game, the Seminoles are spreading their scoring wealth all over the roster.

NOTING Solomon Alabi’s 21 POINTS AGAINST OHIO STATE
All-America candidate Solomon Alabi, a candidate for the Naismith and Wooden Awards as the nation’s top collegiate player, scored the third double-double of his career with 21 points and 10 rebounds against Ohio State on Wednesday night. It marked the second double-double of the season by a Seminole — Chris Singleton (18 points and 10 rebounds) earned the third double-double of his career against Marquette. Alabi’s 21 points also marked the first time that a Seminole player other than Toney Douglas scored 20 points or more in a single game since Jason Rich scored 23 against North Carolina in the ACC Tournament on March 14, 2008.

FLORIDA STATE LIMITING ITS OPPONENTS’ SCORING CHANCES
Florida State’s suffocating defense, which has produced 59 blocked shots (7.4 bpg) and 71 steals (8.9 spg) has severely limited its opponents’ number of total chances at the basket. With a combined total of 130 blocked shots and steals, the Seminoles have eliminated 130 shots at the basket and turned away a countless number of points for their opponents. The Seminoles have limited their first eight opponents to an average of 56.2 points per game – a statistic that ranks second in the ACC.

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATE
F #31 Chris Singleton (11.8 ppg, 8.1 rpg; 9.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg in two home game in 2009-10)
F #42 Ryan Reid (6.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg; 12.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg in two home games in 2009-10)
C #32 Solomon Alabi (11.0 ppg, 2.4 bpg; 12.5 ppg, 2.0 bpg in two home games in 2009-10)
G #4 Deividas Dulkys (7.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg; 12.0 ppg, 3.0 #FG/G in two home games in 2009-10)
G #22 Derwin Kitchen (11.0 ppg, 3.1 apg; 6.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg in two home games in 2009-10)
…AND TOP RESERVES
G #2 Jordan DeMercy (4.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg; 5.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg in two homes games in 2009-10)
G #3 Luke Loucks (2.3 ppg, 2.6 apg; 3.0 ppg, 3.5 apg in two home games in 2009-10)
F #1 Xavier Gibson (6.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg; 11.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg in two home games in 2009-10)
G #21 Michael Snaer (6.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg; 9.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg in two home game in 2009-10)
G #0 Pierre Jordan (1.6 ppg, 0.8 apg; 1.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg in two home games in 2009-10)

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FIU
F #11 Marvin Roberts (15.0 ppg, 6.4 rpg; 21 pts and 10 rebs vs. North Carolina Central, Nov. 20, 2009)
F #34 Marlon Bright (10.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg; 13 pts and 4 rebs vs. E. Kentucky, Nov. 28, 2009)
G #1 Antoine Watson (8.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg; 16 pts and 5 rebs vs. North Carolina, Nov. 9, 2009)
G #2 Stephon Weaver (11.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg; 23 pts and 9 rebs vs. Murray State, Nov. 23, 2009)
G #4 Phil Gary (12.4 ppg, 3.2 apg; 27 pts and 5 reb vs. Florida Memorial, Nov. 18, 2009)

FLORIDA STATE VS. FIU – A SERIES HISTORY
The Series: Florida State leads, 7-1
Last Game: Dec. 12, 2004; FIU 65, at Florida State 60
Last Florida State Win: Nov. 28, 2995; at Florida State 92, FIU 44
Last FIU Win: Dec. 12, 2004; FIU 65, at Florida State 60
Last Florida State Win in Tallahassee: Nov. 28, 1995; at Florida State 92, FIU 44
Last FIU win in Tallahassee: Dec. 12, 2004; FIU 65, at Florida State 60
Current Streak: FIU has won 1
Leonard Hamilton vs. FIU: 2-2 (0-1 at Florida State)

FLORIDA STATE VS. FIU – THE LAST GAME
Jayce Lewis’ 3-pointer with 1:51 to play gave Florida International the lead and Ismael N’Diaye sank five free throws in the final 30 seconds in a 65-60 victory Florida State on Dec. 12, 2004 at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee. N’Diaye, playing with a stress fracture in his right foot, scored a career-high 22 points to lead the Golden Panthers to their first victory over the Seminoles in eight attempts. It was also FIU’s first victory over an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent. Florida State (4-4) rallied from a 40-25 second-half deficit to take a 52-51 lead on a pair of Alexander Johnson free throws with 6:10 to play. FIU regained the lead on three free throws from Junior Matias. but Andrew Wilson countered with a 3-pointer and Isaiah Swann’s 15-foot jumper gave the Seminoles a 57-54 lead. The Golden Panthers closed out the game by outscoring the Seminoles 11-2, aided by a commanding 41-31 rebound advantage. Matias contributed 15 points for FIU. Johnson led the Seminoles with 11 points and Anthony Richardson added 10. Leading 24-22 at the half, FIU opened the second half with a 16-3 run, fueled by 10 points from N’Diaye. A pair of Matias free throws gave the Golden Panthers their largest lead with 14:08 to play as the Seminoles didn’t score their first field goal of the second half until Johnson’s tip-in with 13:48 to play.


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