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Basketball GameDay: Florida State at Minnesota
Okaro White and Florida State face Minnesota in the 2013 ACC / Big 10 Challenge.

Okaro White and Florida State face Minnesota in the 2013 ACC / Big 10 Challenge.

Dec. 2, 2013

Florida State vs. Minnesota Get Acrobat Reader

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. ( - Florida State, which has won five of its first seven games of the 2013-14 season, travels to play at Minnesota in the 15th Annual ACC/Big 10 Challenge on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 9:30 p.m. (ET) at Williams Arena in Minneapolis, Minn. It marks the second consecutive season and fourth time in the history of the challenge that the Seminoles will meet the Gophers with Florida State holding a 2-1 advantage in the Challenge series. Florida State won the only previous Challenge meeting at Minnesota as it took a 70-69 win at Williams Arena on Nov. 30, 2004. Florida State will play its fifth consecutive game away from home as it travels to play at Minnesota - the Seminoles played three games at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off (finishing third in the tournament with wins over No. 10 VCU and Northeastern) and traveled to play at Florida on Nov. 29. The Seminoles are three points from arriving to play Minnesota with an unblemished record after a two-point overtime loss to then No. 13/14 Michigan (82-80, Nov. 22) and a one-point loss at then No. 13/15 Florida (67-66, Nov. 29). Following Tuesday night's game at Minnesota, the Seminoles will play two consecutive games at home against Jacksonville State (Dec. 8, 6:00 p.m.) and Puerto Rico Tip-Off Champion Charlotte (Dec. 17, 7:00 p.m.).

The Seminoles travel to Minnesota on December 3 as they play the Gophers in the 15th Annual ACC/Big 10 Challenge. The Seminoles and the Gophers are tied with four wins each in the eight-game series that dates back to the 1972 NCAA Tournament. Florida State last matched up against Minnesota in the 2012 ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Prior to that the Seminoles hadn't played Minnesota since a 75-61 victory at home on November 27, 2007 which marked the first year for head coach Tubby Smith at Minnesota. The Seminoles are 1-2 on the road against the Gophers. The ACC currently holds a winning edge of 10-3-1 for the ACC/Big 10 Challenge. The ACC won the first 10 Challenges (1999-2008) while the Big 10 has won three of the last four (2009-2011). The ACC and Big 10 split the challenge last year with six wins for both conferences. After facing then No. 13/14 Michigan on Nov. 22, 2013 in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, the Seminoles will play multiple games against teams from the Big 10 for the first time since the 2008-09 season. Minnesota is coach by Richard Pitino - the son of current Louisville head coach Rick Pitino. The Seminoles have played against a Pitino-coached team three times - Rick (as the head coach at Kentucky) on March 27, 1993 and Richard (as an assistant at Florida) during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons.

Senior Okaro White scored nine points against Florida on Friday night and enters Tuesday's game against Minnesota with 1,007 career points. He became the 43rd player in school history to reach the 1,000 career point plateau and is currently ranked 42nd in school history in scoring. White is chasing 41st ranked Wayne Smalls (1,016 career points) and 40th ranked Tom McLaughlin (1,019 career points) as play begins against Minnesota.

Sophomore Aaron Thomas, who earned his career high of six steals in Florida State's victory over UT Martin on Nov. 17, enters Tuesday's game against Minnesota as the ACC leader in steals (and ranked seventh nationally) with 22 and a 3.1 steals per game average. He has earned at least two steals in each of the Seminoles' first seven games and already has as many steals in the first seven games of the 2013-14 season (22) as he did in 34 games as a freshman during the 2012-13 season (22). Thomas is looking to become the sixth Seminole (and first since Chris Singleton in 2010) to lead the ACC in steals.

Senior Ian Miller, who has made 32 consecutive free throws entering Tuesday's game at Minnesota, leads the ACC in free throw shooting percentage (career-high .943) and free throws made (33). He has made each of his free throw attempts since the 4:25 mark of the second half of FSU's season opening win over Jacksonville. The school record for consecutive free throws made is 33 by Ralph Mims during the 2006-07 season.

...Defeat Minnesota and raise its record in the ACC/Big 10 Challenge to 8-7. The Seminoles have played seven different opponents and defeated four different teams while playing in each of the first 14 ACC/Big 10 Challenges; ...Defeat Minnesota and defeat a team from the Big 10 for the first time since defeating Minnesota (75-61) in the 2007 ACC/Big 10 Challenge in Tallahassee.

Florida State, the 2012 ACC Champion, travels to play at Minnesota in the 2013 ACC / Big 10 Challenge. It marks the fifth time the two teams will meet in the history of the Challenge. The Seminoles are 3-1 against Minnesota in the first 14 years of the challenge and have helped the ACC win 10 of the 14 challenges that have been played. Florida State defeated the Gophers at Minnesota (70-69 on Nov. 30, 2004) in the only previous Challenge game at Williams Arena.

Florida State is returning to its Leonard Hamilton-based roots as it has developed into one of the nation's best defensive teams during the first seven games of the 2013-14 season. The Seminoles are tied for second in the ACC in steals (9.0; Syracuse, 10.6), third in blocked shots (5.7; Clemson, 8.0) and fourth in both field goal percentage (.385; Clemson, .341) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (.307; Clemson, .212). Florida State is working to lead the ACC in blocked shots for the fifth consecutive season.

Florida State shot a season-high .870 from the free throw line against Florida and enters Tuesday's game against Minnesota shooting .721 from the line for the season.

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