Top-20 Sunshine State Showdown at the BUC
No. 14/13 Florida StateatNo. 16/16 Miami
|Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016 • 1 p.m. ET|
|Coral Gables, Fla. • BankUnited Center|
|Press Conference • Game Notes: Miami • Florida State|
Joe Zagacki & Kelly Schumacher
Isaiah Kim-Martinez & Harry Kroll
|Social Media: Facebook • Twitter • Instagram|
Miami, ranked No. 16 in both The Associated Press Poll and the USA TODAY Coaches Poll, hosts No. 14/13 Florida State Sunday at 1 p.m. It is the first time the Hurricanes and Seminoles have met in Coral Gables with both nationally ranked since Feb. 24, 2011. Tickets are $5, with youth 12-and-under admitted free of charge.
The Seminoles hold a 37-12 lead in the all-time series against Miami. Five of the Hurricanes’ victories have come since 2010. In the most recent matchup, Florida State earned a 69-55 road win on March 1, 2015.
Eight Hurricanes are back from a team that reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2014-15. That group includes a trio of starters who are now the team captains: junior guard Adrienne Motley, a Naismith Trophy Early Season Watch List selection, junior guard Jessica Thomas and redshirt senior guard Michelle Woods.
One of the eight returnees is redshirt junior forward Keyona Hayes, who missed last season due to an ankle injury after leading the team in rebounding in 2013-14. The Hurricanes also have a quartet of sophomores in forward/center Erykah Davenport, guard Nigia Greene (redshirt sophomore), forward Keyanna Harris and forward Khaila Prather.
Additionally, Miami has five new players in the fold this season in guard Laura Cornelius, forward/center Emese Hof, forward/center Zada Williams, guard/forward Shaneese Bailey and guard Neydja Petithomme. Bailey and Petithomme are sitting out this season as transfers from Florida Atlantic and Auburn, respectively.
Katie Meier, in her 11th season in Coral Gables, Fla., has led Miami to great heights during her tenure. Since 2009-10, the Wheaton, Ill., native has directed the program to its greatest six-year stretch ever, making the postseason in all six years, with five 20-plus win seasons and four NCAA Tournament appearances.
Meier has guided Miami to 58 victories in ACC play since the start of the 2010-11 season, the second-most of any team in the conference. The 2010-11 AP National Coach of the Year is in her 15th season as a head coach, spending the first four at Charlotte, and owns a career record of 276-181, including 200-136 at Miami. She earned the 200th victory of her Hurricane tenure in Miami’s most recent outing a 76-61 road win at North Carolina Jan. 14.
The Seminoles are 15-4 and tied with Miami for third place in the ACC at 5-1. Florida State has three players averaging over 10 points per game, with sophomore Shakayla Thomas’ 17.4 pacing the group. Senior center Adut Bulgak is second at 14.4 points an outing and also ranks first on the team and third in the ACC in rebounding at 8.1 per game. Junior guard Leticia Romero posts 10.9 points per game and is sixth in the ACC in 3-point field goal percentage at 44.4 percent. After posting a 32-5 (14-2 ACC) record last season en route to an Elite Eight appearance, the Seminoles were tabbed to finish second in the ACC preseason poll this year.
Last Time Out
The Hurricanes handed North Carolina its largest home loss in 13 months with a 76-61 win at Carmichael Arena in Chapel Hill, N.C., Jan. 14. Motley led all scorers with 20 points for Miami, which trailed for just one minute and 37 seconds of action. Cornelius added 13 points, while posting career highs in both rebounds (eight) and assists (seven). Thomas also had 13 points and Hof chipped in with 10, too. The Hurricanes led by as much as 19 in the contest and finished the game with a 24-0 edge in bench points, as well as an 11-2 lead in second chance points.
Miami hits the road for a trip to face Virginia Tech at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va., Thursday night at 7 p.m.
As is the case for all women’s basketball games at the BankUnited Center this season, youth 12-and-under will receive free admission. Team posters, schedule cards and new rules infographics will be available at the marketing table by the main entrance.
All fans in attendance at the game, which is a part of ACC Sportsmanship Week, will receive light-up bracelets, while students at the BUC will get free pizza and drinks from the Big Cheese. Students who are there for the full game will receive priority access vouchers for the men’s basketball game against Duke Monday, Jan. 25. Four free tickets and a parking pass to the men’s game against Duke, courtesy of Coca -Cola, will also be wrapped into a shirt that is shot into the crowd from the Coke Zero t-shirt cannon.
Additionally, Sunday is Sebastian the Ibis’ birthday party from pregame through halftime and registration for children 12-and-under is available HERE. It is also Employee Day at the BUC, meaning University of Miami employees can purchase tickets for $1. Prior to the game is the Celebration of Women’s Athletics, which is a part of President Julio Frenk’s inauguration week, and honorees will be recognized during the game.
Lastly, preregistered Girl Scouts will be able to participate in a postgame clinic with the Miami women’s basketball team.