Jan. 15, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – The No. 17/18 Florida State women’s basketball team looks to get back to its winning ways as it travels to Raleigh, N.C., to face No. 20/21 NC State on Thursday, Jan. 16, at 7 p.m. at Reynolds Coliseum. The contest will be streamed on ESPN3.com and through the WatchESPN app.
In addition to watching the game live, fans can listen to all the action on WNLS 1270-AM and through Seminoles.com, with Jonathan Schillace (play-by-play) and Melissa Bruner (color analysis) calling all the action. The ESPN3 broadcast will be handled by James Alverson and former WNBA player and NC State alumna Chasity Melvin.
“NC State is an excellent team, and they know what they’re good at,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “They take very good care of the basketball, they know their roles, they understand who can do what, and they’ve got some tough matchups on the interior. We’ll be doing a lot of preparation for NC State. Every team in the ACC is tough on the boards and with the size they have and their speed on the perimeter, we will have to be very wary of the damage they can do on the boards.”
No. 17/18 Florida State (14-2, 2-1) and No. 20/21 NC State (15-2, 2-1) play in their 40th all-time meeting on Thursday evening. The Wolfpack hold a decisive series edge over the Seminoles, 26-13. Florida State has won in each of its last four trips to the Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, N.C. FSU defeated the Pack, 64-59, in 2008-09, 76-69 (2010-11), 67-64 (2011-12) and 82-74 last season.
The four-game road win streak at NC State is FSU’s third-longest vs. ACC opponents. Currently, FSU’s longest road win streak is at Clemson (10) followed by Boston College (5).
Thursday’s contest will be a matchup of two top-notch post players in the ACC. NC State senior center Markeisha Gatling (67.6 percent) and FSU senior center Natasha Howard (63.3 percent) rank first and second in the conference in field goal percentage, respectively.
As a freshman at Northwestern, current FSU guard Morgan Jones knocked down a career-high 27 points in a 76-59 home win over NC State on Nov. 30, 2011. Jones also had a career-high five 3-pointers that night. She is averaging 14.6 points and 6.2 boards this year, leading the ‘Noles with 18 points in their last game against North Carolina.
Jones is in the Top 10 in three ACC categories: Minutes played (4th – 33.1), 3-point field goals per game (9th – 2.2) and defensive rebounds per game (9th – 5.4).
Florida State is coming off its first ACC loss of the season, falling 65-61 vs. No. 13/12 North Carolina on Jan. 12. The loss snapped a 10-game win streak that tied for the second-longest in school history. FSU’s loss also snapped a nine-game win streak at home that dated back to last season, where its last loss before the home win streak came in a 76-69 defeat at the hands of NC State on Feb. 14, 2013.
Florida State’s ACC-leading scoring defense held North Carolina’s high-powered offense to just 65 points last game in a 65-61 loss to the Tar Heels. The total tied UNC’s season-low in points.
In the last eight meetings between FSU and NC State (since 2007-08), each game has been won by single digits. The average margin of victory in the past eight games is a miniscule 4.9 points. FSU is 6-2 vs. NC State in that span.
Under Semrau since the 1997-98 season, Florida State has won 26 games against Top 25 schools in the USA Today Poll. FSU’s first Top 25 win of the year came over then-No. 25 Michigan State on Dec. 4.
Semrau has earned two Top 25 wins over NC State in her coaching career. The first came on Dec. 30, 2000, when FSU defeated No. 12/12 NC State, 74-70, at home. The second came on Feb. 5, 2006, when FSU defeated No. 24 NC State, 75-61, at home.
The Wolfpack are enjoying a tremendous season led by first-year coach Wes Moore (25th overall). Gatling has emerged as one of NC State’s finest players in several years, leading the country with a 67.6 field goal percentage. NC State has proven to be a potent offensive unit halfway through the season, averaging 78.4 points per game and shooting nearly 47 percent from the field.
The Pack owns a signature win against then-No. 12 LSU on Dec. 20, defeating the Tigers 89-79. Senior forward Kody Burke helps give NC State a solid 1-2 punch by averaging 14.6 points and 5.6 boards per game. In ACC play, NC State is coming off a 62-54 grinder at Wake Forest on Jan. 12.
Like FSU, the Wolfpack fell victim to UNC in a 79-70 loss to the Tar Heels.
For more information on Florida State women’s basketball, follow the Seminoles on Twitter at @FSU_WBasketball and like their official Facebook page (Facebook.com/FSUWomensBasketball).