February 17, 2021 - by

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – Carrying back-to-back home wins, Florida State Women’s Basketball looks to continue its momentum when it hosts a tough Georgia Tech squad on Thursday at 6 p.m. The game will air on the ACC Network.

Georgia Tech (12-5, 10-4) marks FSU’s (8-5, 7-5) third repeat opponent of the season so far. In each of FSU’s previous two-time opponent scenarios, the Seminoles lost their first games (at Clemson on Dec. 17; at Miami on Feb. 7) then picked up wins at home (vs. Clemson on Jan. 21; vs. Miami on Feb. 14).

Florida State (7-5 in ACC) and Georgia Tech (10-4) enter Thursday’s matchup as two of six teams in the ACC with an above .500 conference record. Having lost three key seniors last season in Kiah Gillespie, Nicki Ekhomu and Nausia Woolfolk, FSU was projected eighth by the league’s head coaches prior to the season but is currently fifth in the conference.

Based on the projections of the head coaches, FSU is currently three spots higher than projected, second only to Wake Forest (predicted 12th; currently sixth).

FSU is 6-0 at home this season, which included impressive wins last week vs. Syracuse (67-52) and Miami (67-59). At the Tucker Center this year, the Seminoles hold a +11.3 scoring margin, are out-shooting opponents by 10.1 percent per game (45.9 to 35.8) and are making nearly six more free throws per game (+5.8).

Redshirt junior guard Bianca Jackson had a strong performance last week vs. two full-court pressure teams in Syracuse and Miami. The Montgomery, Ala., native averaged a team-best 15.5 points, shot 45.5 percent (10-of-22) from the floor and delivered 13 assists to nine turnovers. Against Miami on Sunday, she posted a career-best eight assists vs. the Hurricanes as she continues to assimilate to the PG role.

Thursday’s game is another big opportunity for the Seminoles in terms of NET wins. Georgia Tech comes to Tallahassee 25th in the NET while FSU is 48th. FSU owns solid NET wins this year at Virginia Tech (27th), at North Carolina (37th) and home vs. Syracuse (42nd).

FSU’s offensive performance last game vs. Miami was pretty efficient. The four double-figure scorers for the Seminoles (Kourtney Weber: 15, Jackson: 13, Sammie Puisis: 12, Valencia Myers, 12) were their most since also having four in double digits at Virginia Tech on Dec. 31.

Over the last four games, opponents have shot just 20 percent (18-of-90) from beyond the arc. Over the first nine games, opponents were shooting 33.8 percent (48-of-142). FSU went from last in the ACC in 3-point field goal percentage defense to seventh since the start of 2021.

In FSU’s last four games (3-1 record), it has held the opposition to 57.5 points per game. For the season, the Seminoles are allowing 65.8 points per game to the opposition.

The Seminoles have been rocked hard by the pandemic this season, being forced to alter their schedule 15 different times. Their recent four-game stretch has been aided by being able to suit up 10 players in each of their last three games. Prior to that, injuries forced them to only suit up no more than nine players for seven straight games from Dec. 20 to Feb. 4.

FSU defeated Clemson at home in double overtime with just eight players, and also defeated UNC on the road with just eight (Kourtney Weber was out due to a foot injury). FSU also played at Louisville and at Georgia Tech with only eight players.

Georgia Tech reached its 10th win in ACC play after defeating Miami on Tuesday at home, 67-56. The Yellow Jackets lead the ACC in scoring defense, holding the opposition to 61.94 points per game.

Senior forward Lorela Cubaj is averaging 11.2 rebounds per game, ranking third in the ACC. Guard Lotta-Maj Lahtinen leads Georgia Tech in scoring at 14.9 points per game.

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