TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – The Florida State Women’s Basketball team is looking to feast on three opponents this Thanksgiving week as it travels to Cancun, Mexico, to participate in the Cancun Challenge at the luxurious Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya.
The Seminoles (4-0) make their sixth regular-season international trip in program history and face Washington on Thanksgiving Day at 3:30 p.m./2:30 p.m. CT. They follow with a matchup against Furman on Friday at 1 p.m. ET/Noon CT, and finish with Hartford on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET/2:30 CT.
“We’ve got three great teams back to back to back, and I think that’s going to be another test for us,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “Washington will be the best team we’ve seen and they have tremendous skill players and great athletes. Then you turn around and play two other very good teams in Furman and Hartford, and you play them with no prep time. That will be interesting for our young players.”
All three games this week can be heard on WQTL – 106.1 FM or through the Seminole Gameday app with Bob Thomas and Melissa Bruner on the call. Each game will also have a video webcast that is linked on the Seminoles.com website.
The Noles made their first overseas trip to the San Juan Shootout in Puerto Rico on Dec. 19-21 in 1994. Overall, FSU is 8-5 when playing outside the United States. Florida State has won four straight games played outside the U.S., defeating Alabama and Arizona State in the Bahamas in 2010 and Eastern Kentucky and Vanderbilt in Puerto Rico in 2012.
Semrau happens to be a Seattle, Washington, native who went to Shorecrest High School and attended the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma for two years before receiving her Master’s Degree at the University of California-San Diego. She has guided FSU to one of the best scoring offenses and defenses in the ACC so far, as the Noles are second averaging 89.8 points per game while surrendering just 49.5 points per game defensively.
The Noles are looking for their sixth 5-0 start under Semrau and their first since also beginning the 2012-13 season with a 5-0 record.
FSU’s 86 offensive rebounds leads the ACC, led by junior center Adut Bulgak’s 17 offensive boards. The Noles are averaging 21.5 offensive rebounds per game. Bulgak is in the ACC Top 10 in six categories: Offensive rebounds (t-3rd), blocked shots (t-4th), rebounding (7th), field goal percentage (8th), scoring (10th) and defensive rebounds (10th).
FSU has been able to win handily in its first four games so far, averaging a 40.2 scoring margin that ranks as one of the best in the country.
Redshirt junior guard Morgan Jones recorded her third career double-double at FSU last game against UMass. Jones recorded 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting and grabbed a career-high tying 10 rebounds, including nine in the first half. She has been hot from 3-point range through the team’s first four games, shooting 7-of-10 from beyond the arc.
The Noles are shooting 50.2 percent from the field in their four games this season. FSU has shot 50 percent or better in two of its four games played. Redshirt senior guard Maegan Conwright has three double-figure scoring games, which is every game she has played. Conwright has also made multiple 3-point field goals in all three games played.
FSU is in the Top 20 nationally in eight categories: Rebound margin (2nd), offensive rebounds/game (6th), scoring margin (7th), 3-point FG % (10th), scoring offense (11th), FG percentage (11th), steals/game (13th) and scoring defense (16th).
Washington features one of the nation’s most explosive scorers in sophomore guard Kelsey Plum. The Poway, Calif., native opened her season by scoring 45 points in a 90-80 loss at Oklahoma, then followed up with a 37-point performance in a 96-82 win over South Dakota. In her last game, Plum produced 28 points and went 13-of-14 from the free throw line in an 81-51 win over Yale.
Like FSU, the Huskies have gotten off to a high-scoring start averaging 85.7 points per game. Plum is shooting 50.8 percent from the field and 90.2 percent from the charity stripe while averaging 36.7 points per game.
Furman (3-1) is coming off a 79-69 loss at Clemson but has earned wins over Davidson (67-60), Winthrop (73-55) and San Diego State (60-43). Senior forward Brittany Hodges leads the team in scoring averaging 14.8 points per game.
Hartford (3-1) lost at Lafayette last game 74-59, and was picked to finish in a tie for third in the America East Preseason Poll. Senior guard Amber Bepko is the team’s top scorer averaging 15 points per game and is shooting 11-of-23 from long distance.
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