TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – The 14th-ranked Florida State Women’s Basketball team heads on the road for a matchup at Wake Forest in a key conference game on Thursday, Jan. 23, at 7 p.m. on ACC Network Extra at the LJVM Coliseum.
The Seminoles (15-3, 4-3) face a Demon Deacons (11-7, 4-3) squad that has a lot of momentum. For just the third time since 1996, Wake Forest enters a game against FSU with an ACC record above .500. The last time it happened was on Feb. 7, 2010, when the Demon Deacons came to Tallahassee sporting a 5-3 record in conference play.
In what has been a topsy-turvy league this season, Florida State (4-3) and Wake Forest (4-3) are two of six ACC teams currently above .500 in the conference. Both are tied for fourth in the league nearing the halfway point, making Thursday’s game that much more important.
The rebounding margin numbers reveal how tightly-contested ACC games can be. Florida State ranks 17th nationally with a +9.2 overall rebound margin per game. But Wake Forest ranks first in ACC play at +4.29 rebounds per game, while the Seminoles are out-rebounding opponents by +1.0 per game.
Two of the ACC’s top scorers in Florida State redshirt senior forward Kiah Gillespie and Wake Forest junior forward Ivana Raca go head-to-head on Thursday night. Both players rank in the Top 8 in the conference in scoring in ACC play, with Raca ranking sixth at 17.71 points per game and Gillespie ranking eighth at 15.71 points.
Florida State and Wake Forest have two common non-conference opponents this season in St. John’s and Florida. FSU defeated a talented Red Storm squad at home on Dec. 15 (74-70) and also defeated the Gators on the road on Nov. 26 (66-55). The Demon Deacons lost at St. John’s on Nov. 22 (74-82) but defeated UF at the West Palm Invitational (73-68).
The Seminoles are the only team with three players ranking in the Top 15 in the conference in scoring during ACC play. They include Gillespie (eighth – 15.71), Nausia Woolfolk (13th – 15.29) and Nicki Ekhomu (14th – 14.57).
Florida State is seeking its sixth consecutive win over the Demon Deacons in a series that it leads 28-17 overall. FSU once won 14 consecutive games vs. Wake Forest from 2002-11.
Woolfolk is tied for third in the ACC and leads the Seminoles with seven 20-point games, with her last coming on Jan. 12 in a 21-point effort vs. UNC. FSU and Louisville are the only ACC teams with multiple players having five or more 20-point games this year, as Gillespie is tied for eighth in the league with five.
The Seminoles are playing in their fourth consecutive game against ACC teams that are currently above .500 in conference play. In that stretch, FSU is 1-2 with losses to Georgia Tech (5-2) and NC State (6-1) and a win over North Carolina (4-3).