TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – The Florida State Women’s Basketball team will host Michigan State in the 2019 Big Ten-ACC Women’s Basketball Challenge, announced on Tuesday by the Atlantic Coast Conference. The two teams will square off at the Donald L. Tucker Center on Thursday, Dec. 5.
The matchup marks the second announced non-conference opponent for the Seminoles in the upcoming 2019-20 season. Florida State will also play Big Ten school Michigan at the Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Showcase on Sunday, Dec. 22, at The Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
“Michigan State is a strong and talented Big Ten team,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “They’re going to have high expectations for next season because they return several players. This challenge is always a matter of conference pride, and we’ll have plenty on the line against the Spartans.”
While Florida State maintains its unofficial No. 11 ranking in the ESPNW Way-Too-Early Top 25, Michigan State is rated 13th. The Spartans only lose one senior from a team that reached the NCAA Second Round last year, and are expected to challenge for a top spot in the Big Ten.
Florida State owns a strong 10-2 record in the annual conference challenge, which the ACC holds a 9-0-3 record in. Returning All-America forward Kiah Gillespie led FSU in a resounding 87-58 win over Penn State at home in last year’s challenge, recording 27 points on 12-of-15 shooting.
The Seminoles made their 14th NCAA Tournament appearance in the last 15 seasons in 2018-19, joining only Louisville and Notre Dame among ACC schools that have achieved that feat. It was the fourth time in the last five years that FSU finished at or above its pre-season ACC prediction, totaling a 10-6 conference record.
This will be the fourth overall meeting between Florida State and Michigan State, including the third straight in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge. The two teams last met on Dec. 4, 2013, when FSU won a 60-58 nail-biter in Tallahassee against the 25th-ranked Spartans. Recently named WNBA Player of the Week Natasha Howard totaled 23 points and 12 rebounds along with three blocks and two steals in the win.