November 30, 2014 - by

Seminoles Play Host To Nebraska In ACC/Big Ten Challenge

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) — Florida State, which has won two straight and three of four games at home this season, plays host to Nebraska on Monday, December 1, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center in in Tallahassee in the first of two games on the first night of the of the 2016 ACC / Big Ten Challenge.  The Seminoles are 4-3 in ACC / Big Ten Challenge games played at home with three of those wins coming at home under 13th-yer head coach Leonard Hamilton.  Florida State clinched the first Commissioners’ Cup in 1999 as the Seminoles played the final game of the challenge and gave the ACC the 5-4 series win over the Big Ten with a 60-46 win over Northwestern. Florida State began the 2002 ACC / Big Ten Challenge with an 80-67 win over Iowa.  The ACC won that challenge, also, in Hamilton’s first season at Florida State.  Florida State’s 97-57 win over Purdue in the 2005 ACC / Big Ten Challenge is significant as it represents the second largest margin of victory in the challenge since its inception in 1999.  Following Monday’s game against Nebraska, the Seminoles will play host to UCF on Saturday, December 6 at 2:00 p.m. before opening conference play at Notre Dame on December 13 at 8:00 p.m. 

FLORIDA STATE VS. NEBRASKA – A SERIES HISTORY
Florida State will square off with Nebraska in the 16th Annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge ON December 1m, 2014 at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee.  The game marks the second meeting between Florida State and Nebraska. Their last matchup took place December 31, 2005, when the Seminoles won 74-60 at the Orange Bowl Classic in Sunrise, Fla.  Florida State has a 43-25 series advantage over Big Ten opponents. This meeting will mark the first matchup between Leonard Hamilton and Tim Miles. Hamilton’s overall record against the Huskies is 6-4 with the majority of the games played taking place during his tenure as head coach at Oklahoma State. Florida State faced a Big Ten opponent three times last season playing Minnesota in the ACC / Big Ten Challenge and facing Gophers in the semifinals of the NIT. Florida State lost 71-61 to the Gophers on December 3, 2013 and fell to Minnesota in overtime for the NIT semifinal round at Madison Square Garden, 67-64.  The Seminoles also played, and fell to, No. 13 Michigan, 82-80, in overtime in the second round of the 2013 Puerto Rico Tip-Off.

A GREAT WEEK FOR RATHAN-MAYES
Freshman Xavier Rathan-Mayes averaged 21.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.0 steals in 73 total minutes as he helped lead Florida State to a pair of victories over The Citadel and Charleston Southern last week.  The Ontario, Canada shot .583 from the field (14 of 24), .800 percent from the free throw line (eight of 10) and .500 from the 3-point line (six of 12) in finishing as the Seminoles’ leading scorer and only double figure scorer in both wins.  Rathan-Mayes scored his career high of 26 points against The Citadel as he tied a school record for perfection as he shot five of five from the 3-point line.  He missed only one shot against the Bulldogs as he finished eight of nine from the field (.889), a perfect five of five from the bonusphere (1.000) and was also a perfect five of five from the free throw line (1.000). 

HAMILTON AND SEMINOLES SIGN TOP FIVE RATED RECRUITING CLASS
Florida State University head coach Leonard Hamilton has secured one of the top basketball recruiting classes in school history with the addition of four players – including two ranked within the nation’s top 50 players and three ranked within the top 100 – to the Seminoles’ already deep roster which includes only one graduating player.  Signing National Letters of Intent with Hamilton and the Seminoles were forward Dwayne Bacon (Lakeland, Fla./Oak Hill Academy), guard Malik Beasley (Alpharetta, Ga./Saint Francis), center Jean Marc Christ Koumadje (Chad, Africa/Montverde Academy) and guard Terance Mann (Tilton, N.H./Tilton School). Florida State’s 2015 recruiting class is ranked among the nation’s best including No. 4 by 247Sports.com, No. 5 by ESPN.com, No. 6 nationally by Rivals.com and No. 6 by Hoopniks.com. 

LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Nebraska and win its season-high third consecutive game.  The Seminoles defeated The Citadel (66-55, November 25) and Charleston Southern (58-47, November 28) in their most recent two games;
…Defeat Nebraska and gain a win over a team from the Big Ten for the first time since November 27, 2007 when the Seminoles defeated Minnesota, 75-61, in Tallahassee in the ACC / Big Ten Challenge;
…Defeat Nebraska and win its sixth consecutive December home game.  The Seminoles defeated Louisiana Monroe and Maine in December of 2102 and topped Charleston Southern, Charlotte and Maine at home during the 2013 season at the Donald L Tucker Center during the month of December.

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