Feb. 19, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) - With the ACC Tournament just two weeks away, the Florida State women's basketball team has an opportunity to grab another quality win as it travels to face No. 8/9 Maryland on Thursday, Feb. 20, at 8:30 p.m. at the Comcast Center in College Park, Md. The contest will be televised on FOX Sports Florida and a host of other ACC regional sports networks.
Tom Werme (play-by-play) and Stephanie Ready (color) will call the action on Thursday night. Fans can also listen to the game on 1270-AM with Jonathan Schillace and Melissa Bruner filling up the sound waves.
Florida State (17-8, 5-7) and No. 8/9 Maryland (20-5, 8-4) square off for the 41st time in series history on Thursday evening. The Terrapins lead the Seminoles in the all-time series, 25-15. FSU defeated Maryland in their last meeting, 72-71, on Feb. 28, 2013, in Tallahassee.
A win over Maryland would give Florida State its highest-ranked road victory since topping No. 5 Stanford, 68-61, on March 19, 2007 in Palo Alto, Calif. Florida State owns six Top 25 road wins in program history. Its highest-ranked road win was at No. 4 Duke on Feb. 8, 2001, winning 71-69 in Durham, N.C.
FSU head coach Sue Semrau is looking for her fourth road win at Maryland in her Seminole coaching career. Her three wins occurred in 2001 (77-65), 2003 (76-61) and 2010 (94-61).
"Maryland has one of the best players in the country in Alyssa Thomas," Semrau said. "She's just a do-it-all player who gets her teammates involved extremely well. But you have to try and find a way to limit her because she's a special player. We'll be focused on their entire team but on her as well."
The `Noles hold the 32nd-rated RPI while Maryland is 20th. FSU has four wins this season against current Top-75 RPI teams including Syracuse (23), Michigan State (42), Florida (56) and Stetson (67). Florida State and Maryland are two of just five current ACC schools who have made the NCAA Tournament in eight of the past nine seasons. They join league opponents Notre Dame, Duke and North Carolina on the accomplished list.
Thursday's game pits two of the nation's best post players in FSU's Natasha Howard and Maryland senior forward Alyssa Thomas. Both All-America candidates are in the Top 10 in the ACC in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage.
Florida State has been very efficient from the charity stripe over its last four games against Notre Dame, Boston College, Syracuse and Miami. Over that span, the `Noles have shot 63-of-80 (79.7 percent) from the free throw line.
FSU forward Ivey Slaughter is the No. 1 freshman rebounder in the ACC in conference games. In 12 conference games, Slaughter is averaging 7.5 rebounds per game.
Florida State continues to share the ball well. Over their last three games, the `Noles have generated positive assist-to-turnover ratios of 1.6 (21 assists/13 turnovers vs. Boston College), 1.1 (23 assists/21 turnovers vs. Syracuse) and 1 (10 assists/10 turnovers vs. Miami). Prior to the three-game stretch, FSU had four positive assist-to-turnover ratios all season.
Maryland will host Florida State for the final time in ACC regular season play. Maryland and Florida State split the series last year, with the home team winning both contests. The Seminoles will try and figure out how to stop Thomas, who is averaging a double-double on the season with 18.4 points and 10.8 rebounds per game.
The Terrapins are 13-2 at home this season, with their only losses coming to No. 1 Connecticut and No. 2 Notre Dame. Last time out, Maryland fell at No. 7 Duke, 84-63, snapping a four-game winning streak.
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).