TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – No. 5/4 Florida State Women’s Basketball (23-2, 11-1 ACC) hosts No. 11/10 Texas (20-4, 14-0) in a huge non-conference clash that is part of ‘Big Monday’ on ESPN2 at 7 p.m.
The event celebrates Florida State’s annual ‘Paint it Pink’ game, with proceeds from the matchup being donated to the Sharon Ewing Walker Breast Health Center at TMH. ESPN’s venture includes the Play4Kay Foundation to help raise breast cancer awareness.
The women’s basketball community and beyond always focuses on the life of former NC State Head Coach Kay Yow, who lost her courageous fight to breast cancer on Jan. 24, 2009. FSU head coach Sue Semrau held a close and competitive friendship with Yow, and considers Yow one of her greatest mentors alongside John Wooden, Bobby Bowden and former Wisconsin women’s basketball coach Jane Albright.
The Seminoles (10 straight wins) and Texas (18 straight wins) enter Monday night’s matchup with a combined 28-game win streak. The Longhorns’ 18-game win streak is the second-longest active streak behind UConn’s 99 straight wins, while FSU’s 10 consecutive victories is tied for the ninth longest. FSU tied a program record earlier this season with a 12-game win streak.
Non-conference games against ranked opponents don’t come very often this late in the regular season. Since joining the ACC in the 1991-92 academic year, Texas will be just the third Top 25 non-conference matchup for FSU in the month of February.
The last time FSU played an out-of-conference Top 25 team this month was Feb. 1, 2001, when it fell to No. 15 Xavier 75-72 in Cincinnati. That game served as a homecoming for current assistant coach Brooke Wyckoff, a West Chester, Ohio, native who was a senior that year.
Junior forward Shakayla Thomas continues to prove her All-America worth. Over her last nine games, Thomas is averaging 18.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and is shooting 59.2 percent (74-of-125) from the floor. During that same time span, she has averaged 11.1 points and shot 62.5 percent (45-of-72) in the second half.
This will be redshirt junior guard Imani Wright’s sixth time playing Texas. In her sophomore season at Baylor in 2014-15, she averaged 13.7 points against the Longhorns in three games.
One of FSU’s more recent games against a Big 12 school was in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, when #10 seed FSU faced #7 seed Iowa State in Ames, Iowa. An FSU-postseason record 12 rebounds was recorded by then-freshman Ivey Slaughter in a 55-44 win.
A start by senior Brittany Brown vs. Texas on Monday would be the 127th of her career and tie former player Natasha Howard (2010-14) for the most in FSU history.
In non-conference play this season, senior point guard Leticia Romero leads the Seminoles with 14.3 points per game while shooting 59.6 percent overall (56-of-94) and 57.9 percent from beyond the arc (22-of-38).
In FSU’s non-conference games vs. ranked opponents (UConn, Gonzaga, Florida), Romero leads FSU averaging 23.0 points. This includes an FSU season-high 25 points (10-of-14) in an 87-69 win vs. #25 Gonzaga in the Virgin Islands. Romero won the Paradise Jam MVP.