@CanesWBB Caps Regular Season at No. 12 FSU
No. 17/17 MiamiatNo. 12/12 Florida State
|Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016 • 3 p.m. ET|
|Tallahasse, Fla. • Donald L. Tucker Civic Center|
|Game Notes: Miami • Florida State|
Sue Bird & Tiffany Greene
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Miami, ranked No. 17 in both The Associated Press Poll and the USA TODAY Coaches Poll, will conclude regular season play Sunday at No. 12/12 Florida State. The Hurricanes and Seminoles are set to square off at 3 p.m., with the contest televised live on ESPN2 from the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center in Tallahassee, Fla.
Florida State holds a 38-12 all-time lead in the series against Miami. The teams have split their last four meetings in Tallahassee. In the most recent matchup, which took place earlier this year on Jan. 24 in Coral Gables, Fla., the Seminoles earned a 69-58 victory.
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 and Dawn Staley Award Mid-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 four NCAA Tournament appearances. This season, Meier has already guided the Hurricanes to their sixth 20-win campaign in the past seven seasons.
Meier has guided Miami to 63 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 281-185, including 205-140 at Miami.
The Seminoles are 22-6 (12-3 ACC) on the season, featuring the same overall record as Miami. Sophomore forward Shakayla Thomas, the ACC’s third-leading scorer, posts a team-high 17.1 points per game for Florida State. Senior center Adut Bulgak averages 13.3 points and a team-high 7.9 rebounds, fourth-most in the ACC, and junior guard Leticia Romero averages 10.6 points an outing. The Seminoles were picked second in the ACC preseason poll after tallying a 32-5 (14-2 ACC) mark in 2014-15 and reaching the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. They will be the fourth seed in next week’s ACC Tournament regardless of Sunday’s outcome.
Last Time Out
Miami fell 79-51 to No. 10/10 Louisville Thursday night at the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables. Myisha Hines-Allen led four Cardinals in double figures, posting a game-high 15 points. Motley paced the Hurricanes with 12 points in the defeat.
No matter the result Sunday, the Hurricanes will be the fifth seed in the ACC Tournament and will open play Wednesday, March 3 at 11 a.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C. Miami will take on the winner of Tuesday’s No. 12 versus No. 13 matchup, which could be North Carolina, Pittsburgh or Virginia Tech.