TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (Seminoles.com) – No. 17 Florida State Women’s Basketball plays its first 2021 NCAA Tournament participant on Thanksgiving Night as it prepares for BYU at 7 p.m. at the St. Pete Showcase at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The winner of the matchup will face the winner of No. 22 West Virginia and Purdue in the tournament title game on Saturday, Nov. 27, at 1 p.m., while the two losing teams will meet on Saturday at 11 a.m.
— FSU Women's Hoops (@fsuwbb) November 23, 2021
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Returning All-America guard Morgan Jones is coming off her third-highest scoring performance as a Seminole on Sunday, dropping 25 points (8-of-12) and getting to the free throw line 14 times in a 76-53 win over Grambling State. The Jonesboro, Ga., native ranks second in the ACC in both free throws made (18) and attempted (28), and leads the Seminoles averaging 16.0 points per game.
BYU will be the first of nine opponents the Seminoles face this season that made the NCAA Tournament in last year’s bubble setup in San Antonio. The Cougars were an 11 seed whom defeated six-seeded Rutgers, 69-66, before closely falling to NCAA National Runner-Up and third-seeded Arizona, 52-46, in the second round. West Virginia is FSU’s other non-conference opponent that made the NCAA Field last year.
— FSU Women's Hoops (@fsuwbb) November 22, 2021
The Seminoles (4-0) own a 1-1 all-time record vs. BYU. The two teams haven’t met since Nov. 19, 1983, when the Cougars defeated FSU, 76-61, at the Lady Buff Classic in Boulder, Colo.
Returning not too far away from her hometown of Bradenton, Fla., is reigning Florida Dairy Farmers Miss Basketball player O’Mariah Gordon, also nicknamed OMG. In four games off the bench, Gordon is averaging 4.8 points, has nine assists to seven turnovers and is shooting 53.8 percent (7-of-13) from the floor. She has already proven to be lethal in transition, executing a few highlight-worthy no-look passes to her teammates
Florida State is off to a strong start protecting the rim, ranking third nationally and first in the ACC with 8.5 blocked shots per game. FSU is coming off a season-high 11 blocked shots vs. Grambling State. Jones and freshman forward Makayla Timpson each rank 44th nationally with eight blocked shots apiece.
Florida State is 2-1 overall on Thanksgiving, last playing Winthrop in a 98-35 victory at the 2016 Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.
Redshirt junior guard Izabela Nicoletti (Americana, Sao Paulo, Brazil) and BYU senior guard Maria Albiero (Londrina, Brazil) have been playing basketball together since their youth days. Both were members of the Brazilian U17 National Team, and both attended Neuse Christian Academy in Raleigh, N.C.
The Seminoles are surrendering just 46.0 points per game so far. FSU’s four opponents have combined to shoot just 28.6 percent against FSU this season, with the best shooting performance by the opposition being Grambling State’s 32.1 percent from the floor last game.