TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – Bolingbrook, Ill., native Nicki Ekhomu is coming home! The standout Florida State senior point guard and Joliet Catholic Academy graduate is the focal point of the 12th-ranked Seminoles’ trip to Chicago as they take on the UIC Flames on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET/Noon CT at Credit Union 1 Arena in Chicago, Ill.
The homecoming game will be live streamed on ESPN+ and can also be heard locally on WQTL 106.1 FM.
“To give her teammates a flavor of her culture, and where she’s from, I think will be really good,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said of Ekhomu’s trip home.
Ekhomu returns to her home area with exactly 1,000 career points scored at Florida State. She became the 36th Seminole to reach that mark on a pair of free throws with 7:15 remaining in the third quarter of an 88-59 win over Samford last game.
“Being a freshman or sophomore, when I saw the seniors go home, I just remember thinking ‘I can’t will until my homecoming game,” Ekhomu said. “Now that it’s here, it’s really exciting. My mom’s been planning for months. It should be fun; she’s got some special things planned for the team.”
She has played six games in the Midwest (twice at Notre Dame, Minnesota, Iowa, Creighton and Milwaukee). Her stats in those six games include: 15.0 points per game, 51.9 percent shooting (27-52), 71.4 percent from deep (10-14) and two consecutive 20-point games (26 vs. Milwaukee, 26 vs. Notre Dame).
Florida State is 4-2 all-time in games played in Chicago, with its last visit coming at the DePaul Invitational on Nov. 16-17, 2007, when it split against No. 24 DePaul (L, 79-68) and FIU (W, 70-50). The UIC Flames (0-5) will mark the fifth Chicago-area school that FSU has played. The Seminoles (4-0) have also played Chicago State (2-0), Loyola-Chicago (1-0), DePaul (0-3) and Northeastern Illinois (1-0). FSU has never played Big Ten school Northwestern.
The last time an FSU Athletics team competed against UIC was when Florida State Softball played against the Flames at the USF Invitational in Tampa on March 5, 1998.
Florida State has had five Illinois natives suit up in the Garnet and Gold in program history. They include the school’s all-time leading scorer in Sue Galkantas (Oak Forest; 1980-84), Nancy Galkantas (Oak Forest; 1981-83), Debbie Putzi (Crete; 1980-81), Alison Arnoldi (Joliet; 1990-94) as well as Ekhomu (Bolingbrook).
Nausia Woolfolk’s recent ACC Player of the Week honor is the first of her career. She has scored consecutive 20-point games for the second time in her career, and her 23 points and 12 rebounds last game vs. Samford marked her second career double-double (but first with pts and rebs).
Freshman Sammie Puisis has started her career with a 3-point make in each of her first four games. The last FSU freshman to make a 3-pointer in each of her first four games was Seminole legend Natasha Howard in 2010.
Saturday’s game marks the beginning of a three-game road swing for Florida State. Following its game at UIC, FSU will play at rival Florida in the Fresh From Florida Sunshine Showdown on Tuesday, Nov. 26, at 6 p.m. on the SEC Network+. FSU will then play against sixth-ranked Texas A&M on Sunday, Dec. 1, at 8:30 p.m. EST as part of the Maggie Dixon Classic in Fort Worth, Texas, on FS1.