February 16, 2020 - by
Noles Face Important Road Game at Duke

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – The 14th-ranked Seminoles (20-4, 9-4) head back on the road to face Duke (14-10, 8-5) this Sunday afternoon at Cameron Indoor Stadium in a battle for an ACC Tournament double bye. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. on ESPN2.

One conference game separates the two programs, with the Seminoles sitting at third in the ACC and the Blue Devils following close behind, tied for fourth with Virginia Tech. Both teams have just five games remaining for the regular season. A win over the Duke would clinch Florida State’s sixth straight season of 10 or more wins in the ACC.

The contest features four of the ACC’s top scorers in two Seminoles and two Blue Devils who all rank among the top 15 in points per game average. Florida State redshirt senior forward Kiah Gillespie (eighth – 15.8) and senior guard Nicki Ekhomu (10th – 14.8) go head-to-head with Duke graduate student guard Haley Gorecki (third – 18.0), and senior forward Leaonna Odom (14th – 14.0).

The accolades continue to pile on this week for ACC Player of the Year candidate, Gillespie. The Meriden, Conn., native was named a Top 10 finalist for the Katrina McClain Award, selected to the Naismith Trophy Midseason Team, named ESPNW National Player of the Week and ACC Player of the Week and was chosen to the NCAA Starting Five. She is the first player to win ACC Player of the week three times this season. Gillespie is averaging 16.0 points and 10.5 rebounds in two career games against Duke.

Florida State holds the advantage on the glass as they are ranked 17th nationally and second in the ACC with a +8.7 rebounding margin, compared to Duke’s +1.8 mark (ninth in the ACC). The Noles have been out-rebounded in just three of their 24 games this season. All three of those negative rebound margin games have come in ACC play.

In its last trip to Cameron Indoor on Feb. 19, 2018, No. 9 Florida State was upset by No. 20 Duke, 66-79. Ekhomu led the Seminoles with 15 points and nine rebounds, which at the time marked her career high for points in an ACC road game.

Although the series edge has decisively been with Duke over time (Duke leads 37-13), Florida State has won five of the last six games in the series. FSU defeated Duke twice last season, including its first-ever ACC Tournament win over the Blue Devils. The Seminoles are trying to reverse the script at Cameron Indoor Stadium, having won just once in their last 11 games played against Duke on the road (FSU won 69-53 on Feb. 11, 2016).

Florida State Associate Head Coach Brooke Wyckoff scored a game-high 20 points in one of FSU’s signature wins early in Sue Semrau’s tenure, upsetting No. 4 Duke, 71-69, at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Feb. 8, 2001.

Florida State is 5-2 in ACC road games this season, out-scoring opponents by an average of +6.9 per game (71.0- 64.1). Gillespie (19.4 ppg), Ekhomu (15.3) and senior guard Nausia Woolfolk (10.6) are all averaging double figures in conference road games.

FSU follows its Duke trip with a home contest against ACC foe Wake Forest on Thursday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m. on ACC Network Extra.

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