No. 7/6 Florida State Women’s Basketball (17-2, 5-1 ACC) hosts defending national runner-up Syracuse (13-6, 4-2 ACC) on Thursday night at 7 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center. Thursday’s ACC clash in Tallahassee is “Ladies Night,” which includes a $50 ticket package consisting of two drink vouchers, two general admission tickets and a painting party prior to the game.
Fans can catch the game on ACC Network Extra with Tom Block and Melissa Bruner. Jonathan Schillace and Ariya Massoudi will call the action on the free Seminole Gameday App and through local radio on WQTL 106.1 FM.
The Seminoles lead the Orange 2-1 in what has been a short series history. Last year, Syracuse defeated FSU 83-73 and stopped an 11-game win streak, with all 11 victories coming in ACC play. Syracuse’s last trip to Tallahassee occurred on Feb. 2, 2015, resulting in a 62-52 win by the Seminoles.
Florida State is the current leader in the ACC standings, owning a 5-1 conference record while also owning an ACC-best 17 overall victories. Notre Dame is second in the conference at 4-1, followed by 3-1 Virginia Tech. Syracuse is currently tied with Louisville (4-2) and NC State (4-2) for fourth. FSU earned ACC co-regular season championships in 2008-09 (12-2 with Maryland) and 2009-10 (12-2 with Duke) but has not won the regular season title outright.
Florida State joins Ohio State, DePaul and Notre Dame as the teams whom have both the defending NCAA Champion (Connecticut) and national runner-up (Syracuse) on their schedule this season. FSU is searching for its first-ever win against a defending NCAA Championship Game participant when playing them the following season.
A win over Syracuse would tie the program mark for best 20-game start in history at 18-2. The 2014-15 team that reached the second NCAA Elite Eight at FSU started 18-2, as well as the 2004-05 team.
The Seminoles are coming off an 86-27 win over ACC foe Clemson on Sunday, their 15th straight victory against the Tigers. The 59-point margin of victory was FSU’s largest ever over an ACC opponent in its 26 years in the league. The previous high were 45-point wins vs. Wake Forest (Feb. 7, 2010) and Clemson (Jan. 14, 2016).
Junior forward Shakayla Thomas is coming off a solid week in wins over No. 9 Louisville (72-65) and Clemson. The Sylacauga, Ala., native led the Seminoles in scoring average (16.0 points), field goal percentage (59.1 percent) and field goals made (13) in the two victories. This includes a season-high 24 points, including 18 in the second half, against Louisville.
Not only does Florida State lead the ACC in overall scoring at 82.2 points per game, it also leads the conference in scoring in ACC play with 76.5 points per game.
Florida State is Top five nationally in offensive points per possession (fifth - 1.1) along with being third in defensive points per possession. Only UConn and Baylor are the other schools in the Top five in both categories.
Both Florida State (82.2 points per game) and Syracuse (81.3 points per game) rank first and second, respectively, in the ACC in scoring. They are the only two ACC teams averaging 80+ points per game.
Thursday’s matchup will be a battle of the ACC’s top two active players in career double-doubles. Syracuse senior center Briana Day leads the ACC with 23, while Ivey Slaughter is second with 21.