TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – State bragging rights are on the line on Thursday night at the Donald L. Tucker Center as No. 13/10 Florida State and Atlantic Sun Conference power Stetson square off at 7 p.m.
The Hatters (6-4) own a convincing 85-71 win over Florida in Savannah, Ga., this season, and are coming off a 26-win campaign from last season that included an ASUN regular-season title. They have become a rising power in the Atlantic Sun Conference under 10th-year head coach Lynn Bria.
Stetson joins Florida State as two of three programs from the Sunshine State that have posted 169 or more victories since the start of the 2010-11 season. For Florida State, it has dominated its Florida-based opponents in recent years to the tune of a 29-4 record over the last 33 games.
The game can be seen on the ACC Network Extra through the WatchESPN app. As always, it can be heard locally on WQTL 106.1 FM or via Seminoles.com.
After Thursday’s game, FSU hosts Arizona State on Sunday at 2 p.m.
• Florida State senior forward Shakayla Thomas has celebrated a week’s worth of accolades. On Monday, she was honored as both the ESPNW Player of the Week and the ACC Player of the Week. Over the two games last week, she averaged 28.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and shot 60 percent (27-of-45) from the floor. Thomas also averaged 13.5 made field goals, tying her career high with 14 made at Iowa.
• Thomas’ four-game stretch is likely one that hasn’t been seen many times in program history. In wins over Sacred Heart, Samford, Iowa and James Madison, she is averaging 28.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 61.2 percent from the field (52-of-85) and 13 makes per game.
• Both Florida State and Stetson are very strong from the free throw line. The Hatters lead the country in free throws made with 158 and are 14th nationally with a 77.8 free-throw percentage. FSU is second in the ACC with a 73.9 free-throw percentage, as sophomore Nicki Ekhomu leads the way shooting 86.5 percent (32-of-37) from the charity stripe.
• FSU’s 12.6 turnover percentage (turnovers per 100 plays) ranks sixth nationally and first in the ACC. Led by redshirt senior AJ Alix’s conference-best 4.0 assist/turnover ratio (60/15), the Seminoles have posted less turnovers than their opponents in seven of eight games played.
• Florida State once again ranks high nationally in two critical margin categories. FSU is second in rebounding margin at +16.3 per game, and also second in scoring margin at +30.8 per game.
• A win over Stetson on Thursday would be the third time FSU has started 9-0. It began 12-0 in 2004-05 and started 10-0 in 2009-10.
• The Seminoles have dominated opponents in the second half this season. FSU is out-scoring opponents by +19.8 per game in the final 20 minutes (47.8-28.0).