TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State Women’s Basketball spends the week of Thanksgiving facing Oklahoma State, Purdue and Harvard at the Women’s Cancun Challenge beginning Thanksgiving morning.
TV: Thursday’s opener vs. Oklahoma State at 11 a.m. can be streamed on FloHoops.
Radio: The matchup can be heard locally on 96.5 FM and 1270 AM, and can be accessed anywhere on Seminoles Leanplayer.
In-game updates: Fans can follow on the FSU Women’s Basketball Twitter Account (@fsuwbb)
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Florida State Women’s Basketball prepares to play a tournament in the Caribbean region for the 10th time in program history, beginning with a Thanksgiving morning matchup vs. Oklahoma State at 11 a.m. ET. It marks the first meeting between the two schools since March 24, 2008, and just the third meeting in series history.
The Seminoles (5-0) hope to continue their strong history of playing in the Caribbean. In their previous nine tournaments played in the region, FSU has won six tournament titles including its most recent one at the Junkanoo Jam in Bimini, Bahamas, in 2018. FSU makes its third visit to the Cancun Challenge and its first since going 2-1 against Washington, Furman and Hartford in 2014.
FSU’s return to Cancun means an opportunity for Mexican-born sophomore forward Mariana Valenzuela to play in her home country. The native of Mazatlán has shown marked improvement this season, averaging 5.8 points and 6.8 rebounds in 21.4 minutes off the bench. Last week, Valenzuela sparked FSU in its 92-77 rivalry win over Florida with 13 points and five rebounds, and pulled down 11 rebounds in a physical 79-73 win at Houston in overtime.
The Seminoles enter their Thanksgiving matchup as the nation’s fourth-best shot-blocking unit and the best in the ACC, averaging 7.6 blocked shots per game. Sophomore Makayla Timpson is 21st nationally averaging 3.6 blocked shots per game.
Florida State graduate guard Jazmine Massengill pulled down 17 of FSU’s 57 rebounds last game in its 79-73 overtime win. The Chattanooga, Tenn., native recorded the most rebounds by an FSU guard since Alicia Gladden had 18 boards against Florida A&M on Dec. 2, 2004.
Freshman guard Ta’Niya Latson has four games with 20+ points in her first five games as a Seminole. Latson leads the NCAA in total points with 134, ranks second with 49 made field goals and is fifth nationally averaging 26.8 points per game.
Florida State is coming off its best 3-point shooting performance of the year, going 7-of-13 from long range at Houston (53.8 percent).
Erin Howard picked up her second double-double of the season already. Last year she had one double-double all year. Her commitment to the glass has been a bright spot for the Seminoles, averaging 9.0 rebounds through her first five games this year and 4.4 through her first five last year.
Three Seminoles averaged in double figures last week vs. Florida and Houston, including Ta’Niya Latson (26.5), Makayla Timpson (14.5) and O’Mariah Gordon (11.5).
Florida State owns a 2-2 record when playing on Thanksgiving. It marks the second straight year FSU has played on the holiday, playing BYU last year at the St. Pete Showcase in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Led by the rebounding of Erin Howard (9.0) and Makayla Timpson (8.4), Florida State’s 50.0 rebounds per game rank seventh nationally and second in the ACC.
In FSU’s tight game against Houston, Jazmine Massengill was critical. With Massengill on the court, FSU out-scored the Cougars 71-57. When she was off the court, FSU was out-scored 16-8.
Over the previous 10 seasons, Florida State has started 6-0 three different times: 2019-20 (school-record 13-0 start), 2017-18 (10-0) and 2012-13 (7-0).
The Seminoles have had five double-figure scorers in three of their five games played this year, including wins against Bethune-Cookman (113-50), Florida (92-77) and Houston (79-73 OT).
Florida State’s impressive history in the Caribbean includes winning titles at the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands (2001 and 2016), the San Juan Shootout in Puerto Rico (2004 and 2012) and the Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas (2010 and 2018).
Both FSU (W, 80-71) and Oklahoma State (L, 56-59) have faced Kent State this season.