Dec. 27, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) - The No. 22/20 Florida State women's basketball team plays host to UT Martin on Saturday, Dec. 28, at 2 p.m. in what is being promoted as a 2-for-1 game at the Donald L. Tucker Center. The contest will be streamed on ESPN3.com.
The special promotion for Saturday's contest includes fans having the opportunity to buy one ticket to the game and getting another one for free. The money-saving deal is a superb holiday special that allows fans to get a lot of bang for their buck.
The Seminoles (11-1) return to the hardwood after a seven-day holiday hiatus. They face the Skyhawks (7-5) for the first time in series history on Saturday.
FSU is coming off a championship win at the Long Beach Classic, defeating Long Beach State on the road, 72-57, on Dec. 21. Since the 2010-11 season, the `Noles have won the Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas (2-0 in 2010), finished undefeated at the San Juan Shoot in Puerto Rico (2-0 in 2012) and added a title win at the Long Beach Classic.
A win over UT Martin on Saturday would mark just the third time Florida State has garnered just one loss in "pre-season," otherwise known as the non-conference schedule heading into ACC play. Since joining the ACC in the 1991-92 year, FSU has twice recorded just one loss in pre-season non-conference play: 2004-05 and 2012-13.
Florida State currently owns a season-best seven-game win streak. Under FSU head coach Sue Semrau, this is Florida State's fifth time recording a win streak of seven games or better. The longest is a school-record 12 consecutive victories during the 2004-05 season.
Florida State senior forward Natasha Howard is looking to break the school record for career double-doubles on Saturday afternoon. The Toledo, Ohio, native is tied with former Seminole legend Sue Galkantas (1981-84) with 31 career double-doubles, scoring 16 points and grabbing 15 boards in a championship win over Long Beach State in her last performance on Dec. 21.
FSU's seven-game win streak continues to be a result of its suffocating defense. Through the first 12 games this season, Florida State is the only team in the Atlantic Coast Conference that hasn't surrendered 70 points or more in a game this season. Only TWO teams this season have shot 40 percent or better vs. the Seminoles - Miami-Ohio (40 percent) on Dec. 1 and Pacific (40.6 percent) on Dec. 20.
A win over UT Martin on Saturday would mark Florida State's 16th consecutive non-conference win at home. FSU's last loss against a non-ACC foe at the Tucker Center came on Nov. 27, 2011, against Nebraska.
The Skyhawks recently snapped a two-game skid with a dominant 85-55 win over Southern Illinois this past Monday. Freshman Ashia Jones comes to Tallahassee with a hot hand after delivering a career-high 17 points and five steals in the win. Part of UT Martin's success in the matchup was forcing turnovers, as it forced a season-high 36 turnovers that was also the most in head coach Kevin McMillan's coaching career there.
UT Martin has become the premier women's basketball squad of the Ohio Valley Conference, winning the OVC title in each of the past three seasons. The Skyhawks own an impressive win this season at Alabama on Dec. 4, pummeling the Crimson Tide by a 75-57 score.
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).