TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – The Fresh from Florida Sunshine Showdown pits No. 7/7 Florida State vs. No. 23/25 Florida for the 76th time in series history on Thursday night at 6 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
Since the Associated Press Top 25 Poll was created in the 1976-77 season, Thursday’s matchup will be the first time both teams are nationally-ranked when playing each other. The game will be live streamed on the ACC Network Extra, with Tom Block and Melissa Bruner on the call. Jonathan Schillace and Bob Thomas will provide commentary on the Seminole Gameday App and locally through WQTL 106.1 FM.
The Seminoles (8-1) have defeated the Gators (6-2) nine times in the last 13 meetings since 2004, including five of the last seven meetings since 2009. FSU did fall to UF in last year’s season opener on Nov. 16, 2015, losing 82-72 in Gainesville despite getting double-figure scoring performances from Adut Bulgak (20 points), Leticia Romero (16), Shakayla Thomas (10) and Ivey Slaughter (10).
Florida State has won its past three home games against Florida in 2010 (74-72), 2012 (98-67) and 2014 (77-51). In its last home game against UF on Dec. 7, 2014, then-sophomore forward Ivey Slaughter led all players with 18 points (6-of-9) while adding six rebounds and two steals.
Current FSU assistant coach Danielle Atkinson (formerly Santos) is a former guard for the Florida Gators who played at UF from 2002-06. Among her many highlights was notching 37 career double-figure scoring games in orange and blue.
Since the 2012-13 season, Florida State has gone 23-3 against opponents from the state of Florida. In addition to going 3-1 vs. Florida during that time, FSU has gone 9-2 vs. Miami, 4-0 vs. Jacksonville, 2-0 vs. Stetson, 3-0 vs. UNF, 1-0 vs. Bethune-Cookman and 1-0 vs. FGCU.
The Seminoles are 1-1 this season against AP Top 25 opponents, falling to No. 3 UConn 78-76 on Nov. 14 before defeating No. 25 Gonzaga 87-69 on Nov. 25 at the Paradise Jam. Head Coach Sue Semrau goes for her 34th AP Top 25 win of her career while FSU as a program has 46 AP Top 25 wins. Of Coach Sue’s 33 nationally-ranked victories, 23 have come at home, while 32 of FSU’s 46 overall wins have been at home.
Slaughter has had a productive three-game career against the Gators. The Macon, Ga., native is averaging 10 points and 7.3 rebounds against UF while shooting 55 percent (11-of-20) from the floor. In two meetings with the Gators, junior forward Shakayla Thomas is averaging 10 points while shooting 53.3 percent (8-of-15) from the floor.
Slaughter contributed greatly in FSU’s two wins last week at Minnesota and vs. Western Carolina, averaging 14 points and seven rebounds. She led FSU last week in points per game, offensive boards (9) and free throws made (8).
Senior guard Leticia Romero ranks first in the ACC in 3-point field goal percentage this season at 57.9 percent (11-of-19). She is also fifth in the conference in overall field goal percentage, shooting 60 percent (33-of-55).
The Seminoles hope to move the ACC’s record to 4-2 this season against Top 25 SEC opponents. Louisville (vs. 17/20 Kentucky), Duke (3/3 South Carolina) and Virginia Tech (17/16 Tennessee) own the ACC’s ranked SEC wins this season so far.