December 20, 2008 - by
Florida State Plays Host To No. 3 Pittsburgh Sunday At 5:30 P.M.

Dec. 20, 2008

Game Notes 

Florida State, which has equaled a school record with 11 wins in its first 12 games of the 2008-09 season, plays host to No. 3/3 Pittsburgh on Sunday, Dec. 21 at 5:30 at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Fla. The Seminoles have won four consecutive games entering their game against the Panthers and have an 11-1 record entering the game. The Seminoles 11-1 record is their best since starting the 2003-04 season under Leonard Hamilton with a 13-1 record. Pittsburgh’s appearance in Tallahassee marks the eighth consecutive season a top five ranked team has played in the Tucker Center and makes the Panthers the Seminoles’ highest ranked opponent at home since Florida State played host to and defeated No. 1 Duke on March 1, 2006. Florida State enters Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh having defeated at least one ranked team in each of the last 19 seasons including this season when it defeated No. 21 Florida (57-55) on Dec. 7 in Tallahassee. The Seminoles have defeated 12 ranked teams (including four ranked in the top five at the time of the game) under Hamilton in the last seven seasons. Following Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh the Seminoles travel to play Western Kentucky in the Orange Bowl Classic at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla., on Dec., 28 at 4:00 p.m.

With its victory over Charleston Southern on Thursday night and an 11-1 record, the Seminoles equaled the best 12-game start in school history. The Seminoles’ 1988-89 and 2003-04 teams also won 12 of their first 13 games of the season. Florida State improved to 18-1 before losing their second game of the season in 1988-89 and was 12-1 before losing their second game and falling to 12-2.

Seminoles' Best Starts
Season    12-Game Start   13-Game Start              14-Game Start
1988-89   11-1            12-1                       13-1
2003-04   11-1            12-1                       12-2
2008-09   11-1            Sunday vs. No. 3/3 Pitt    Dec. 28 vs. Western Kentucky

Senior All-ACC candidate Toney Douglas enters Sunday’s game against No. 3/3 Pittsburgh ranked fifth in the ACC in scoring with a career-high 17.7 points per game average and second in the league with 23 steals. Douglas is the ACC leader with six games of 20 points scored or more and is tied for first in the league with one 30 point game (30 points against Coastal Carolina on Nov. 22.) Douglas is also ranked third in the ACC in total 3-point field goals made (25) and second in minutes played (35.5).

Freshman sensation Chris Singleton, who scored 11 points and pulled down three rebounds in Florida State’s victory over Georgia State on Saturday, is the ACC Rookie of the Week entering Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh. He is the third highest ranked freshman in the ACC in rebounds (6.7 rpg) and is second on the team in scoring with a 9.7 points per game scoring average. Singleton has scored in double figures six times and earned a double-double in his first career game against Jacksonville (12 points and 17 rebounds) on Nov. 15.

…Defeat Pittsburgh and gain its second win over a ranked team this season. It will mark the second time in the last three seasons the Seminoles have defeated at least two ranked teams in the same season;
…Defeat Pittsburgh and gain a victory over a top three ranked team for the first time since March 1, 2006 when the Seminoles defeated No. 1 ranked Duke, 79-74, in Tallahassee;
…Defeat Pittsburgh and break a four-game losing streak against the Panthers. The Seminoles last victory over the Panthers came on December 21, 1984 – 24 years to the date of tonight’s game – in Orlando, Fla. The Seminoles won the game, 83-76;
…Defeat Pittsburgh and gain a victory over a Big East team for the second time this season. The Seminoles defeated Cincinnati, 58-47, on Nov. 28 in the third round of the Global Sports Classic at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. It would mark the first time since the 2002-03 season when Florida State defeated then Big East members Virginia Tech and Miami that they have defeated multiple Big East teams in the same season;
…Defeat Pittsburgh and become just the second team in the country to defeat two Big East teams this season. Tennessee defeated Georgetown and Marquette earlier in the year. (Note that could change depending on Boston College’s result against Providence and the Memphis result against Syracuse. Both games will be played Saturday).
…Defeat Pittsburgh and become only the second team in the country with victories over teams from the Big East, Pac 10 and SEC. North Carolina has also accomplished the feat with victories over Kentucky (SEC), Oregon (Pac 10) and Notre Dame (Big East).

LaMarr Greer scored a career-high 26 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in the final 1:44, to lead No. 17 Florida State over No. 5 Arizona 84-79 on Dec. 23, 1997 at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee. Greer’s off-balance 25-footer as the shot clock was about to expire to give Florida State an 82-77 lead with 50 seconds left. Greer made 11 of 13 shots from the field and all three of his 3-point attempts for the Seminoles. Mike Bibby scored 26 points for Arizona, including six 3-pointers, but had only four points in the second half for the defending national champions. Michael Dickerson added 21 points for the Wildcats. The Wildcats trailed by as many as nine points in the second half and held their last lead at 76-74 with 2:45 left on two free throws by Bennett Davison. Corey Louis sparked a 10-4 run at the start of the second half to give Florida State a 51-50 lead. Bibby’s outside shooting sparked Arizona to a 46-41 halftime lead. He hit 5 of 8 shots from 3-point range and scored 22 points in the half. Florida State shot 56 percent from the field and outrebounded Arizona 46-30.

Florida State enters Sunday’s game against No. 3/3 Pittsburgh with 12 wins over nationally ranked opponents during the first seven years of the Leonard Hamilton era in Tallahassee. Included in those 11 wins by Hamilton-coached teams are victories over No. 1 ranked Duke (79-74, March 1, 2006), No. 3 ranked Wake Forest (91-83 in overtime, Jan. 18, 2005), No. 4 ranked Florida (70-66, Dec. 3, 2006) and a victory over the No. 5 ranked Blue Devils during the 2002-03 season (75-70, Feb. 2, 2003). The Seminoles defeated No. 21 Florida 57-55 on Dec. 3 – earlier this season in the Donald L. Tucker Center.

Florida State enters Sunday’s game against No. 3/3 Pittsburgh having won each of its six home games this season and will be looking for their 39th consecutive regular season non-conference home victory. The Seminoles haven’t lost to a non-ACC team during the regular season since December of 2004. In addition the Seminoles have won 18 consecutive home games during the month of December.

Florida State is 49-11 (.817 winning percentage) at the Donald L. Tucker Center in the last four seasons. The Seminoles are 15-9 (.625 winning percentage) in ACC games at the Donald L. Tucker Center and 32-2 (.941 winning percentage) in non-ACC games at home in the last four seasons. The Seminoles have wins over 10 of the 11 ACC opponents that have come to the Tucker Center including Duke (when they were ranked No. 1 on March 1, 2006), Clemson and Virginia Tech (when they were ranked in the nation’s top 20 during the 2006-07) season and Florida (when they were ranked No. 4 in 2006-07 and this season).

F #31 Chris Singleton (9.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg; 8.0 ppg and 7.8 rpg in 4 games vs. major opponents)
F #42 Ryan Reid (8.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg; 9.0 ppg and 4.0 rpg in 4 games vs. major opponents)
C #32 Solomon Alabi (7.8 ppg, 2.1 bpg; 6.8 ppg  and 2.0 bpg in 4 games vs. major opponents)
G #2 Jordan DeMercy (4.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg; 4.8 ppg and 1.5 rpg in 4 games vs. major opponents)
G #23 Toney Douglas (17.7 ppg, 1.9 spg; 14.8 ppg and 1.8 spg in 4 games vs. major opponents)
G #3 Luke Loucks (4.3 ppg, 2.5 apg; 4.0 ppg and 2.0 apg in 4 games vs. major opponents)
F #1 Xavier Gibson (2.7 ppg, 1.8 rpg; 2.0 ppg and 1.3 rpg in 4 games vs. major opponents)
G #4 Deividas Dulkys (2.9 ppg, 1.2 rpg; 3.0 ppg and 1.3 rpg in 4 games vs. major opponents)
G #22 Derwin Kitchen (5.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg; First career game against a major opponent)
G #21 Brian Hoff (0.5 ppg, 0.3 rpg; 0.0 ppg and 0.0 rpg in one game vs. a major opponent)
F #41 Uche Echefu (8.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg; 11.0 ppg and 4.5 rpg in 4 games vs. major opponents)
(major opponents defined as Cincinnati, Cal, Northwestern and Florida)

F #5 Tyrell Biggs (8.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg; 11 pts and 4 rebs vs. Florida State, Nov. 24, 2006)
F #23 Sam Young (20.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg; 10 pts and 4 rebs vs. Florida State, Nov. 24, 2006)
C #45 DeJuan Blair (15.2 ppg, 13.1 rpg; First career game vs. Florida State)
G #2 Levance Fields (11.0 ppg, 6.6 apg; 6 pts and 5 asts vs. Florida State, Nov. 24, 2006)
G #3 Jermaine Dixon (7.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg; Transfer from Tallahassee (Fla.) Community College)

The Series: Pittsburgh leads, 8-1
Last Game: Nov. 24, 2006; at Pittsburgh 88, Florida State 66
Last Florida State Win: Dec. 21, 1984; Florida State 83, Pittsburgh 76
Last Pittsburgh Win: Nov. 24, 2006; at Pittsburgh 88, Florida State 66
Last Florida State Win in Tallahassee: None
Last Pittsburgh win in Tallahassee: Dec. 22, 1982; Pittsburgh 75, at Florida State 74
Current Streak: Pittsburgh has won 4
Leonard Hamilton vs. Pittsburgh: 8-12 (0-2 at Florida State)

Pittsburgh went on a pivotal 13-0 run behind the outside shooting of Ronald Ramon and Antonio Graves not long after Florida State star Al Thornton got into foul trouble in the first half, and the No. 3 Panthers beat the previously unbeaten Seminoles 88-66 on Nov. 24, 2006 at the Peterson Special Events Center in Pittsburgh. Graves scored 17 points and Ramon came off the bench for 12, all on 3-pointers. Thornton, the Seminoles’ top scorer with a 16.0 average, played only eight minutes before halftime after drawing his second foul with 11:37 remaining and Florida State down 21-15. Pitt began pulling away not long after that, finishing off the 13-point run with a Ramon 3-pointer that made it 43-25. The championship game of the Colonial Athletic Association Classic had all but gotten away from the Seminoles by the time Thornton returned to start the second half, with Pitt up 50-30. Pitt upped the lead to 32 points at 69-37 behind a balanced offense in which five players scored in double figures, including backup forwards Tyrell Biggs with 11 and Sam Young with 10. The Panthers shot 62.5 percent, 35 of 56.

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