Dec. 15, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – The 25th-ranked Florida State women’s basketball team looks to extend its win streak to five games on Monday evening when it hosts North Florida at 7 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
The Seminoles (8-1) are coming off a week-long hiatus due to final exams. In FSU’s last game, it defeated Jacksonville on Dec. 8, 71-33. Monday night’s game will once again feature Tom Block on the play-by-play for ESPN3 while Melissa Bruner handles the color analysis duties.
As always, fans can also tune into WNLS 1270-AM or on Seminoles.com for the radio call featuring Jonathan Schillace and Bob Thomas.
Overall, FSU owns a 2-0 all-time record against UNF. Florida State is vying for its ninth consecutive win against a team from the Sunshine State on Monday evening. The last time the ‘Noles won that many games in a row vs. Florida-based teams was from Feb. 9, 2006 to Nov. 18, 2008, when they won 15 straight.
A win over UNF would push Florida State’s home win streak vs. non-conference opponents to 15 consecutive games. The ‘Noles have not lost to a non-conference foe on their home floor since the 2011-12 season. FSU is also carrying a seven-game home win streak that dates back to last season. Its last loss at the Donald L. Tucker Center came against NC State on Feb. 14, 2013, when it fell to the Wolfpack, 76-69.
FSU has been winning this season in large part because of its athletic zone defense. The ‘Noles enter Monday’s game first in the ACC in scoring defense (54.8 ppg allowed) and second in field goal percentage defense (32.2 percent).
One of the keys for FSU this year has been getting off to strong starts. Opponents have averaged just 23.7 points in the first half, with Florida State routinely imposing its will on the defensive end.
Florida State senior Natasha Howard has 30 career double-doubles, and is just one shy of tying the school record held by former ‘Nole Sue Galkantas (1981-84). Against Jacksonville in her last game, the Toledo, Ohio, native fell one rebound shy of tying the mark and broke her four-game double-double streak.
FSU got its offense going again in its last game against Jacksonville. The ‘Noles shot 50 percent (28-of-56), the second time this season they have hit 50 percent or better from the field. Its tough defense forced Jacksonville to shoot 0-for-11 from 3-point range. The last time an opponent did not make a 3-pointer was 59 games ago when Clemson failed to convert from long range in a 59-47 win for FSU on Jan. 5, 2012.
Keeping opportunities alive has been a strength of the ‘Noles this season. Florida State has totaled 124 second-chance points this year, averaging 13.8 per game, while the opposition has just 68.
FSU has also won four games this season by a margin of 30 points or greater. The largest came in a 51-point rout over Prairie View A&M on Nov. 17, the ninth-largest in school history.
UNF comes to Tallahassee to match up against its second ACC team of the season after coming close but falling short, 48-44, to Clemson on the road. Junior guard Destinee Smith, who led the team with 10 points in the loss to Clemson, leads the Ospreys in double figures averaging 12.4 points and rebounding 3.3 boards.
Like Florida State, the Ospreys have been able to outrebound their opponents this season, averaging 41.5 boards per game with a 6.3 rebounding margin.
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).