No. 14 FSU women host Miami

No. 14 Florida State Women’s Basketball looks for its second consecutive win on Sunday afternoon when it hosts rival Miami at 2 p.m. at the Tucker Center on Faculty & Staff Appreciation Day.

The Seminoles (16-3, 5-3 ACC) go for their sixth consecutive home victory over the rival Hurricanes (11-8, 3-5). Florida State leads the all-time series 46-15 and has won 10 if its last 11 regular-season meetings with Miami, which includes a 73-62 road win earlier in ACC play on Jan. 5. The last time FSU lost to Miami on its home court was on Feb. 16, 2014 (L, 73-76).

Sunday’s matchup will be redshirt senior forward Kiah Gillespie’s fourth game played against the Hurricanes. In the previous three meetings (two in 2018-19; one this season) she has averaged 16.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, shot 52.6 percent (20-of-38) and has shot 50 percent (8-of-16) from 3-point range.

The Seminoles introduced a new four-guard starting lineup last game that was effective in their 70-65 road win over a talented Wake Forest squad. The five-player group of point guard Nicki Ekhomu, guard Nausia Woolfolk, guard Morgan Jones, guard Kourtney Weber and Gillespie had never started a game together.

Florida State’s 73-62 road win at Miami this season included a career-high 16 points by sophomore Morgan Jones, while Gillespie generated her second career 20-point game vs. Miami with 21 points (8-of-11). FSU shot 52.9 percent against the Hurricanes, who were without the services of Preseason ACC Player of the Year Beatrice Mompremier.

The FSU bench is coming off a 23-point performance at Wake Forest, out-scoring the Demon Deacons 23-4. In the ACC season, FSU has out-scored the opposing bench on average 18.2-11.8 per game, including a 33-point outing at Clemson on Dec. 8.

The post play combination of Valencia Myers (8 points, 10 rebounds) and River Baldwin (12 points, 5 rebounds) were key factors in defeating Wake Forest last game.

FSU out-rebounded the league’s top rebounding team in Wake Forest last game, 43-40. Miami enters Sunday’s game as the league’s lowest rebound margin team in ACC play (-5.38/game).

A win over Miami would give FSU a 17-3 overall start to the year. It would mark the eighth time the program has won at least 17 of its first 20 games, which it did last season when it started 17-3. FSU’s best 20-game start is when it went 18-2 in the 2004-05, 2014-15, 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons.

FSU will try to continue its winning ways at the Tucker Center. Since the 2014-15 season, the Seminoles are 78-10 (.886) when playing in Tallahassee.

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