Florida State Begins ACC Tournament on Thursday



March 5, 2014

GREENSBORO, N.C. (seminoles.com) - The Florida State women's basketball team gets ready to play in its 22nd ACC Tournament when it opens up against eighth-seeded Miami on Thursday, March 6, at 2 p.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Thursday's game will air on several regional sports networks in the ACC's footprint, including FOX Sports Florida, FOX Sports South, FOX Sports Carolinas, FOX Sports Indiana, Comcast Sports Net Mid-Atlantic, NESN, the YES Network, MSG and Root Sports. Tom Werme and Stephanie Ready will be on the call for the FSU-Miami game.

Fans can also listen to the action on 1270-AM and Seminoles.com with Jonathan Schillace and Melissa Bruner on the call.

"This will be a good experience for a team like ours that has a few senior leaders combined with a lot of newcomers," FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. "Facing Miami right away will be a challenge for our team, especially with the way they played against us last time. They are an aggressive team who comes at you hard. We are looking forward to the challenge and hopefully will be playing Friday."

The Seminoles (19-10, 7-9) and Hurricanes (16-13, 8-8) continue their hardwood rivalry for the third time this season at the ACC Tournament. Florida State plays as the No. 9 seed. The winner of Thursday's matchup faces top-seeded Notre Dame on Friday at 2 p.m.

Florida State and Miami split their two regular season games this season, with both games being won by the road team. The Seminoles won on the road on Jan. 9 in Coral Gables, Fla., 68-63, but the Hurricanes came back to defeat FSU in Tallahassee on Feb. 16, 76-73.

Florida State is 1-0 all-time against Miami in the ACC Tournament. The only meeting between the two rivals in the conference tournament came in the quarterfinals last season on March 8, 2013, when No. 4 seed FSU defeated No. 5 seed Miami, 70-58.

FSU is participating in its 22nd ACC Tournament, including its 15th in Greensboro, N.C. The `Noles have also played at the ACC Tournament in Rock Hill, S.C. (1992-96) and Charlotte, N.C. (1997-99).

The `Noles are looking to improve on their history in the ACC Tournament. FSU is 7-22 overall and has made three trips to the ACC semifinals. With the added round this year due to conference expansion, FSU would need two wins to get to the semifinals.

Senior point guard Cheetah Delgado will be a vital piece for FSU this Thursday against Miami. The Nancy Lieberman Award finalist had three of her four highest-scoring games last year against the Hurricanes, including 12 points in last year's ACC Tournament quarterfinal game. In that game, Delgado made one of the biggest plays when she stripped Miami's Pepper Wilson of an offensive rebound that led to free throws for FSU with the `Noles clinging to a 48-44 lead with 6:05 left. The `Canes would get no closer as FSU won 70-58.

FSU must be weary of the Hurricanes following their last meeting on Feb. 16. While FSU has emerged as one of the top rebounding teams in the ACC, Miami out rebounded FSU 51-36 last game. The 15-rebound differential was FSU's largest rebound margin deficit of the season.

Florida State shot a season-high 61.1 percent in its last game against Virginia on March 2. It was FSU's highest shooting percentage in the past 80 games since shooting 62.3 percent vs. Yale on Dec. 28, 2011.

Miami has shown to be an extremely athletic team that has played FSU tough this season. The Hurricanes defeated the `Noles in their last meeting by getting a spark from Keyona Hayes, who posted 22 points to jumpstart an offense that shot 54.8 percent in the second half vs. FSU.

Miami aggressively double-teamed FSU's Natasha Howard and will likely look to use the same strategy again. Miami is riding a three-game win streak and has won four of its last five, all in ACC play.

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).

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