Nov. 23, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – The Florida State women’s basketball team faces its stiffest test yet when it travels to No. 4/3 Louisville on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky.
Fans can listen to all the action by tuning into WNLS 1270 AM, with play-by-play man Jonathan Schillace on the call alongside color analyst Melissa Bruner. Audio of the game can also be heard by logging onto Seminoles.com All-Access.
“This is going to be a great test for our players playing a Top-5 team like Louisville,” head coach Sue Semrau said as she tries for her 24th AP Top 25 win. “They have so much talent that has returned from their NCAA national runner-up team a season ago and they’ve already got a couple big wins under their belt. It will be a good challenge to play in their environment because these are the types of games that get you prepared for conference and postseason play when you compete against some of the best in the nation.”
Florida State faces No. 4 (AP)/No. 3 (USA Today) Louisville for its first Top 25 opponent of the season. Based on Associated Press rankings, the ‘Noles are going for their 37th Top 25 win in school history.
An FSU win at Louisville on Sunday afternoon would be tied for the fourth-highest ranked win in school history based on AP rankings. The highest occurred on Feb. 8, 2004, when FSU defeated No. 2 Duke in Tallahassee, 80-74.
Florida State is coming off a 76-68 victory at rival Florida on Nov. 21, which marked FSU head coach Sue Semrau’s 500th game as the leader of the ‘Noles. Florida State drained a season-high eight 3-pointers in the win. The total already ties a season high set twice last season against Virginia and Eastern Kentucky.
Florida State has four players in Natasha Howard (23), Brittany Brown (22), Ivey Slaughter (17) and Morgan Jones (16) who have gotten to the free-throw line on 15 or more occasions. As a team, the ‘Noles have attempted 104 free throws, 29 more than its opposition.
FSU senior point guard Cheetah Delgado has expanded her role this season as not only a facilitator but a playmaker in the scoring column. Delgado has four double-figure games and is shooting 64.5 percent (20-for-31) from the floor.
Just four games in, Florida State already has three players with double-digit steals. Leading the way is Cheetah Delgado (13), followed by Ivey Slaughter (12) and Brittany Brown (10). Four Seminoles are averaging double figures through four games this season, highlighted by redshirt sophomore guard Morgan Jones (17.5), Brown (16.8), senior forward Natasha Howard (13.3) and Delgado (12.0).
Over the final 10 minutes of the first half this season, FSU has combined to outscore its opponents 97-34, a scoring margin of 63 points. Its defense has helped it maintain a wide scoring margin this season, allowing opponents to hit just 30.2 percent of their shots (75-for-248) in the early going this season.
Louisville brings a ton of experience coming off its NCAA Championship runner-up performance from a season ago. The Cardinals (5-0) bring back all five starters and four of the five enter Sunday afternoon’s matchup averaging double figures.
Louisville is coming off a 90-33 victory over Ohio on Thursday night at the KFC Yum! Center. In that contest, head coach Jeff Walz became the winningest coach in program history in the victory, moving to 153-65 in his career.
The Cardinals already own two Top 15 wins this season, defeating No. 14 LSU in the preseason WNIT on Nov. 14 and upending No. 11 Oklahoma in overtime, 97-92, on Nov. 17. Redshirt senior guard Tia Gibbs led the way in the overtime victory with 23 points on 8-of-12 shooting.
Following FSU’s matchup with UofL on Sunday, the ‘Noles host Stetson at the Donald L. Tucker Center the day after Thanksgiving on Friday, Nov. 29, at 7 p.m. on ESPN3.
For more information on Florida State women’s basketball, follow the Seminoles on Twitter at @FSU_WBasketball and like their official Facebook page (Facebook.com/FSUWomensBasketball).