Noles Look for Another ACC Road Win at UNC
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – No. 6/8 Florida State Women’s Basketball (13-2, 1-1) and North Carolina (11-3, 0-1) square off for the 45th time in series history on Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Carmichael Arena in Chapel Hill, N.C. The important conference matchup will be live streamed on the ACC Network Extra.
Florida State fans can also listen to the game on WQTL 106.1 FM and via the free Seminole Gameday App. Jonathan Schillace and Melissa Bruner will once again provide the commentary.
Ironically, the first meeting of the series took place 35 years ago on Jan. 5, 1982, which was a 77-68 win by FSU over UNC in the Hurricane New Year’s Classic in Miami, Fla.
UNC holds a 33-11 series lead, which includes a nine-game win streak from Jan. 8, 1997-Jan. 18, 2001. However, the two teams have split the last four matchups, which includes a 94-63 win by the Seminoles in Tallahassee last season on Feb. 14, 2016.
Last year’s 94-63 victory by the Seminoles over UNC was the largest margin of victory by FSU over the Tar Heels at 31 points. It was the 14th time in program history, including the last time, that FSU registered six double-figure scorers in a game. Current Seminoles Leticia Romero (15), Ivey Slaughter (15), Shakayla Thomas (11) and Kai James (10) were part of that double-digit scorer group.
For the second consecutive season, Florida State plays back-to-back games against UNC and Duke as the No. 13 Blue Devils come to Tallahassee for a Sunday matchup at 3 p.m. The Seminoles are looking to defeat UNC and Duke in the same season for the fifth time and for the second consecutive year.
In its last 13 opportunities, Florida State is 12-1 in games following a loss. The Seminoles are coming off a 70-61 loss at home to NC State on Jan. 2 that snapped the Seminoles’ school-record tying 12-game win streak. FSU has only one losing streak over the last 2 1/2 seasons, which occurred last year with consecutive losses to Syracuse and Notre Dame (Feb. 18-22, 2016).
Thursday’s matchup pits the conference’s two winningest head coaches in ACC play (in terms of number of victories). UNC head coach Sylvia Hatchell is in her 31st season with the Tar Heels and has 282 ACC wins (282-175) while FSU head coach Sue Semrau is second with 162 ACC wins (162-132) in her 20th season.
Senior point guard Leticia Romero continues to lead the Seminoles in a variety of ways. College basketball’s only returning Olympian (and the first one since 1988) paces FSU with 15.1 points per game overall and 19.5 points early in ACC play.
Romero has led or tied for the team lead in scoring in the last four games, joining junior forward Shakayla Thomas who did the same thing last season from Dec. 6-19, 2015. If she leads FSU in scoring vs. UNC, she would be the first Seminole to do so in five consecutive games since Adut Bulgak (Nov. 18-29, 2014).
Since the 2014-15 season, Florida State is 13-4 on the road in ACC play. Over its last 18 ACC road games it is 14-4 (includes final road game of 2013-14 season, a 59-43 win at Clemson). Historically, Carmichael Arena has been the trickiest of the ACC venues for Florida State. FSU is just 3-16 at UNC, its lowest road win total vs. any pre-expansion ACC team.
Senior forward Ivey Slaughter is averaging 12.0 points and 7.3 rebounds in three career games against UNC. She is also shooting 12-of-20 (60 percent) from the floor against the Tar Heels and has two double-figure games (15 points in 2015; 12 points in 2016).
Florida State follows its road game at UNC with a Top-15 home game against No. 13/15 Duke on Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center.