Jan. 1, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – The No. 21/20 Florida State women’s basketball team carries an eight-game win streak into its ACC opener as it travels to Pitt for a road matchup on Thursday, Jan. 2, at 7 p.m. at the Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh, Pa.
The Seminoles (12-1) and Panthers (8-6) will square off in a game that will be streamed on ESPN3.com and through the WatchESPN app. Fans can also listen to the game on WNLS 1270AM or via Seminoles.com as Jonathan Schillace on Melissa Bruner will provide the commentary.
“I feel confident about who we are and some of the things we can expect from this team,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “I think it would be very dangerous for us to rest on our non-conference laurels and we want to continue getting better every day. I’ve been familiar with Pitt and they have a new coach this year who is tremendous. It’s been fun to watch those players develop their own system under her. We’ve never played at the arena at Pitt and it will be a good experience for us.”
Thursday night’s matchup at Pitt is a first for a few reasons: It is the first time both teams will be facing each other in series history, and FSU is also the first ACC opponent Pitt will face as a new member of the conference. Florida State is 9-13 all-time in ACC openers. The ‘Noles have won six of their last seven ACC openers since the 2006-07 season.
FSU has finished fourth or better in the ACC in four of the past five seasons. Included in this are ACC regular-season co-championships in 2009 and 2010, a third-place finish in 2011 and a fourth-place finish (tied with Miami) in 2013.
Florida State currently owns a season-best eight-game win streak. Under Semrau, this is Florida State’s fifth time recording a win streak of eight games or better. It is FSU’s largest win streak since also winning eight consecutive games from Feb. 1, 2010-Feb. 28, 2010.
The ‘Noles lead the ACC in scoring defense, allowing an average of just 54.7 points per game. FSU is the only team in the conference that has not allowed 70 points or greater in a game this season.
It is rare for the Seminoles to play a game in the state of Pennsylvania. Thursday’s matchup at Pitt will be just the fifth time FSU has played in the Keystone State. The last time it happened was on Dec. 7, 2008, in an 86-67 win at Temple. FSU is 6-6 vs. teams in Pennsylvania, including Duquesne (0-2), St. Joseph’s (2-0), Penn State (1-3) and Temple (3-1).
Florida State has won its last three ACC openers when they’ve been on the road. This includes at Boston College on Jan. 4, 2007 (72-53), at Virginia Tech on Jan. 8, 2009 (67-63) and at Virginia Tech on Jan. 6, 2011 (79-48).
The ‘Noles have been executing their offense much more efficiently lately. FSU has scored at least 70 points in three consecutive games, scoring 73 vs. Pacific, 72 at Long Beach State and 76 vs. UT Martin. It is the first time the ‘Noles have reached the 70-point plateau in three straight games this season.
Since the 2008-09 season, Florida State has garnered 52 wins in ACC play (52-24) and won 68.4 percent of its conference games. The ‘Noles’ 52 wins are tied for the second-most in that span with Maryland and only trail Duke (67). This excludes newcomers Notre Dame, Syracuse and Pitt.
FSU forward Ivey Slaughter is tied for sixth nationally among freshmen with 8.8 rebounds per game. The Macon, Ga., native is tied for the team lead with five double-doubles and has recorded six double-digit rebounding games.
A little more than 1/3 through the season, senior Cheetah Delgado already has 75 total assists in 13 games. She is on pace to break the FSU single-season record of 198 by Courtney Ward, who had 70 assists in her first 13 games of the 2009-10 year.
Pitt is coming off a 67-57 victory against cross-town rival Duquesne on Dec. 29. The Panthers snapped Duquesne’s four-game series winning streak and Pitt now leads the all-time ‘City Game’ series 20-12.
Brianna Kiesel is currently playing the best basketball of her career. Averaging a career-best 17.2 points per game, the Utica, N.Y., native is one of the most productive producers in the ACC. Her scoring average ranks her 10th in conference, and she also ranks ninth in assists (4.1), 11th in free throw percentage (81.3), 12th in assists/turnover ratio (1.8) and second in minutes (35.3).
Following FSU’s ACC opener at Pitt, the ‘Noles head back on the road a week later to face rival Miami on Thursday, Jan. 9, at 7 p.m.
For more information on Florida State women's basketball, follow the Seminoles on Twitter at @FSU_WBasketball and like their official Facebook page (Facebook.com/FSUWomensBasketball).