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Florida State Plays Host To NC State Saturday At 1:30 p.m.
Jason Rich and the Seminoles play host to NC State on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

Jason Rich and the Seminoles play host to NC State on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

Jan. 25, 2008

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida State, which defeated Virginia 69-67 at home on Wednesday night, plays host to NC State in its second consecutive home game on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in the Donald L. Tucker Center. The Seminoles are 10-1 at home this season and have won 40 of their last 47 games (.851) at home in the last three seasons including a win over the Wolfpack on Feb. 24, 2007. The Seminoles enter Saturday's game looking to win consecutive ACC home games for the third time in the last two seasons after winning back-to-back conference games twice during the 2006-07 season. Florida State is in the midst of a 15 game stretch which will see them play 15 consecutive ACC games. The Seminoles' final non-conference game of the season saw them defeat La Salle (Jan. 5, 81-76) and allowed them to finish their non-ACC portion of their schedule undefeated for the second consecutive season. Following Saturday's game against NC State, the Seminoles will travel to play at Virginia Tech (Jan. 29, 9:00 p.m.) before returning home to play host to nationally ranked North Carolina (Feb. 3, 2:00 p.m.) on Super Bowl Sunday.

DOUGLAS IS THE ACC'S CHIEF THIEF
Junior guard Toney Douglas was credited with a career-high tying six steals in the Seminoles' victory over Virginia and enters Saturday's game against NC State as the leader in steals with a single-season career high 53 and a career-high 2.65 steals per game average. His six steals against the Cavaliers is tied for the fourth highest single game total in an ACC game for the Seminoles and was the most steals in a conference game since Delvon Arrington had seven steals against Clemson on Feb. 23, 2002. Douglas is bidding to become the first Florida State player to lead the ACC in steals since Tim Pickett during the 2004 season.

SEMINOLES RANK FIRST NATIONALLY IN FREE THROW PERCENTAGE
Florida State, which has shot 70 percent or better from the free throw line in eight of its last nine games, enters Saturday's game against NC State ranked first in the nation and first in the ACC with a current school record .788 free throw shooting mark. The Seminoles led the ACC and ranked ninth nationally last season with a school-record .758 free throw shooting percentage.

LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO...
...Defeat NC State and win its second consecutive game against the Wolfpack. The Seminoles beat NC State, 78-52, on Feb. 24, 2007 and are looking to win consecutive games against the Wolfpack for the first time since sweeping the regular season series during the 1998 season; ...Defeat NC State and win its third ACC game of the season. With ACC victories on the road at Georgia Tech (66-64, Dec. 30) and at home against Virginia (69-67, Jan. 23), the Seminoles enters Saturday's game looking to even their ACC record at 3-3; ...Defeat NC State and gain its 14th win of the season one day earlier than it did during the 2006-07 season when the Seminoles finished with a 22-13 overall record; ...Defeat NC State and wins its 13th ACC home game in the last three seasons. The Seminoles are 13-6 in ACC home game since the start of the 2005-06 conference schedule.

FLORIDA STATE RANKS FIRST NATIONALLY IN FREE THROW PERCENTAGE
Florida State enters Saturday's game against NC State shooting .788 from the free throw line and RANKS FIRST IN THE NATION AND FIRST IN THE ACC in the free throw shooting percentage Category. The Seminoles shot a season-high .938 from the free throw line (30-of-32) in defeating La Salle, 81-76, in Tallahassee on Jan. 5. It marked the third time this season the Seminoles shot better than 90 percent from the free throw line (also .935 vs. Cleveland State and .914 vs. Georgia State). Florida State has now shot 70 percent or better in 15 of 18 games; 80 percent or better in five of 18 games and 90 percent or better in three of its 18 games.

Seminoles Lead The Nation In Free Throw Percentage (Through games of Jan. 24, 2008)
Rank   School                FTM    FTA   FT Pct.  Record
1.     Florida State         313    397   .788     13-7
2.     IUPUI                 300    381   .787     14-5
3.     UC Santa Barbara      262    335   .782     14-5
4.     Utah State            317    406   .781     15-5
5.     Wisconsin Green Bay   266    344   .773     10-8

THE NUMBERS INSIDE THE SEMINOLES' BOXSCORE AGAINST VIRGINIA...
...A total of 10 players earned playing time in the Seminoles' victory over Virginia. It marked the first time since Dec. 22 against Providence that at least 10 players earned playing time for the Seminoles. The Seminoles utilized at least 10 players in 10 of their first 14 games and utilized eight players or less against Georgia Tech (seven players, 66-64 win), Clemson (eight players, 97-85 double overtime loss), Duke (eight players, 70-57 loss) and Wake Forest (74-57 loss); ...Florida State recorded 11 steals against Virginia to mark the third time in three ACC games that the Seminoles had recorded at least 11 steals. The Seminoles recorded 12 steals in their victory over Georgia Tech, 12 against Duke and 11 against Virginia. The Seminoles are ranked third in ACC statistics in conference games only with a 9.5 steals per game average; ...Florida State blocked five shot against Virginia to mark the third consecutive ACC game the Seminoles have blocked at least five shots; ...Florida State lost the rebounding battle to Virginia by one rebound (32-33). The Cavaliers entered Wednesday's game against Florida State ranked second in the ACC with a +9.5 margin; ...Florida State made more free throws (17) than Virginia attempted (10) in outscoring the Cavaliers 17-7 from the free throw line. It marked the second time this season in ACC play that the Seminoles had outscored their opponent from the free throw line (Florida State outscored Clemson, 19-14, from the free throw line on Jan. 12); ...Florida State held All-ACC guard Sean Singletary to a total of 11 points - his second lowest point total of the season (he scored a season-low 10 points against Syracuse); ...Florida State did not have a shot blocked during its game against Virginia - only the second time this season the Seminoles have not had one of their shots blocked. It marked the second consecutive game the Cavaliers had not blocked a shot.

SEMINOLES RECOVER FROM DEFICITS TO EARN VICTORY OVER VIRGINIA
Florida State recovered from two 10-point deficits to earn its 69-67 victory over Virginia at the Donald L. Tucker Center on Wednesday night. After scoring the first basket of the game against the Cavaliers, the Seminoles fell behind 12-2 on a 3-point shot by Virginia's Adrian Joseph. The Seminoles' scored 13 of the games' next 16 points to tie the game at 15-15 with 10:36 remaining in the half. Florida State closed the first half on a 29-16 run and held a 31-38 halftime lead. The Seminoles then fell behind by 10 once again (56-46) on a lay-up by Sean Singletary with 8:58 left in the game. Florida State tied the game at 60 at the 2:29 mark as they went on a 14-4 run - the Cavaliers never regained the lead after than point. The Seminoles closed the game on a 23-11 run as they held Virginia to four baskets (including Singletary's buzzer-beating 3-point shot) in the final eight minutes of the game.

NOTING FLORIDA STATE'S STARTING SIX...
...The Seminoles have utilized nine different starting lineups in their first 20 games of the season. Florida State's most utilized starting lineup has been Julian Vaughn, Uche Echefu, Isaiah Swann, Toney Douglas and Jason Rich - a combination which has started six games and has a 5-1 record; ...Only Uche Echefu has started all 20 games while Isaiah Swann has started 19 games and Toney Douglas and Jason Rich have been out for the opening tip 18 times; ...Nine different players have started at least one game; ...Florida State's most recent starting lineup (Echefu, Ryan Reid, Ralph Mims, Douglas and Rich) made its first appearance as a starting quintet against Virginia; ...The six Seminoles who had earned the most starting assignments and logged the most minutes played (Echefu, 20; Swann, 19; Douglas, 18; Rich, 18; Reid, 7 and Mims, 6) are the Seminoles' top six scorers this season, are shooting a combined .806 (278-345) from the free throw line and have totaled 159 steals (more than eight other ACC teams have totaled entering this weekend's play); ...The Seminole Six have played a combined total of 3,358 of Florida State's 4075 minutes (.824 of the total minutes played) and average 29.5 minutes played per game.

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATE
F #41 Uche Echefu (11.5 ppg, 7.4 rpg; 13 pts and 7 rebs vs. NC State, Feb. 24, 2007)
F #42 Ryan Reid (4.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg; 5 pts and 3 rebs vs. NC State, Feb. 24, 2007)
G #10 Ralph Mims (10.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg; 12 pts and 5 asts vs. NC State, Feb. 24, 2007)
G #23 Toney Douglas (14.0 ppg, 2.7 spg; First career game against NC State)
G #25 Jason Rich (12.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg; 7 pts and 3 rebs vs NC State, Feb. 24, 2007)
...AND TOP RESERVES
G #3 Isaiah Swann (12.3 ppg, 3.1 apg; 12 pts and 2 asts vs. NC State, Feb. 24, 2007)
F #2 Jordan Demercy (1.4 ppg, 1.0 rpg; First career game against NC State)
F #21 Julian Vaughn (3.4 ppg, 2.2 rpg; First career game against NC State)
F #33 Matt Zitani (1.8 ppg, 1.3 rpg; 0 points and 0 rebounds against NC State, Feb. 24, 2007)

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR NC STATE
F #11 Gavin Grant (13.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg; 15 pts and 6 rebs vs. Florida State Feb. 24, 2007)
F #33 Brandon Costner (10.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg; 14 pts and 4 rebs vs. Florida  State, Feb. 24, 2007)
C #1 J.J. Hickson (15.5 ppg, 7.8 rpg; First career game against Florida State)
G #4 Courtney Fells (10.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg; 5 pts and 2 rebs vs. Florida State, Feb. 15, 2006)
G #13 Marques Johnson (1.1 ppg. 1.5 apg; First career game against Florida State)

FLORIDA STATE VS. NC STATE - A SERIES HISTORY
The Series: NC State leads, 24-16
Last Game: Feb. 24, 2007; Florida State 78, NC State 52
Last Florida State Win: Feb. 24, 2007; Florida State 78, NC State 52
Last NC State Win: Feb. 15, 2006; NC State 86, Florida State 64
Last Florida State Win in Tallahassee: Feb. 24, 2007; Florida State 78, NC State 52
Last NC State Win in Tallahassee: Jan. 11, 2004; NC State 58, Florida State 53
Current Streak: Florida State has won 1
Leonard Hamilton vs. NC State: 2-7

FLORIDA STATE VS. NC STATE - THE LAST MEETING Al Thornton put up 17 points in the final regular season home game of his college career as Florida State defeated North Carolina State 78-52. Thornton, Florida State's season scoring leader, also started the day as the Atlantic Coast Conference's second-leading scorer with 19.3 points per game. But he had plenty of help against the Wolfpack, as three other Seminoles scored in double figures. Uche Echefu had 13 and Isaiah Swann and Ralph Mims scored 12 each. Gavin Grant had 15 and Brandon Costner 14 for N.C. State. The Seminoles have one more ACC game left at Miami on March 3 before the conference tournament. Thornton opened the game with a dunk as Florida State took a 10-2 lead. The Seminoles led 39-21 at the half. Thornton's last basket was a 3-pointer with less than two minutes left. Coach Leonard Hamilton then removed Thornton and Florida State's only other senior, Jerel Allen, to rousing applause. Allen scored eight points in only his second start of the season.

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