TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – Florida State Women’s Basketball plays host to No. 24 North Carolina on Sunday at Noon in its annual “Paint it Pink” game at the Donald L. Tucker Center. The matchup airs on several of the ACC’s regional sports networks, including Bally Sports Sun.
Proceeds from Sunday’s game benefit the Tallahassee Memorial Cancer Center. The game dedicated to breast cancer awareness will include approximately 2,500 pom-pom giveaways for fans and the opportunity to make “I’m Fighting For” signs at the Northwest and East marketing tables of the Tucker Center.
FSU’s final three games vs. no. 24 North Carolina (home), no. 16 Georgia Tech (home) and at Pitt are critical toward its NCAA Tournament candidacy. The Seminoles enter Sunday’s matchup tied for seventh in the ACC with Miami, while the Tar Heels (20-5, 10-5) are sixth. no. 24 UNC is one of six ranked teams in the ACC, the most Top 25 teams of any conference.
The Seminoles’ lone Top 25 win of the season happened to also come in a pink jersey, as FSU defeated then-No. 20 Notre Dame, 70-65, in a “Play4Kay” game in Tallahassee on Feb. 6. The win started a string of four FSU victories in its last five games, which includes road wins at Duke (59-56) and Syracuse (73-67) as well as the home wins over the Irish and Boston College (66- 58).
A win over the talented Tar Heels (20-5, 10-5) likely would push the Seminoles (14-11, 8-7) into the 40s of the latest NET rankings. FSU moved up three spots after earning a hard-fought win over BC (No. 56) on Thursday. FSU is 51st in the latest NET rankings, with three Top 60 NET wins vs. Notre Dame (18), Duke (43) and Boston College (56). FSU’s opponent NET rank is 46th.
Florida State owns a six-game win streak over North Carolina, which began on Feb. 14, 2016, in a 94-63 win. FSU has not played a ranked North Carolina team since Feb. 12, 2015, and its last ranked win over UNC came on Feb. 17, 2013, in an 80-73 home win.
Over their last five games played, the Seminoles have combined to shoot 71-of-132 in the second half (53.8 percent). During FSU’s hot five-game stretch, it is finding ways to win the close games with an average margin of victory of just 5.5 points.
Over the Seminoles’ last five games played, they are shooting nearly 10 percentage points better than the opposition (47.2 percent by FSU; 37.7 percent by opponents).
Redshirt senior guard Bianca Jackson was a key player last game vs. Boston College. FSU out-scored the Eagles 49-32 in her 23:08 on the court, and was out-scored 26-17 when she was on the bench. In 13 home games this season, senior Morgan Jones is averaging 14.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, shooting 50 percent (68-of-136) from the floor as well as producing 1.4 blocks and 1.2 steals per game.
UNC’s Deja Kelly is having an All-ACC worthy season, averaging 16.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and shooting 37.3 percent from 3-point range. The Tar Heels have four double-figure scorers in Kelly, Alyssa Ustby (13.0), Kennedy Todd-Williams (10.4) and Eva Hodgson (10.0).
The Tar Heels are coming off an enormous 66-65 win over No. 3 Louisville on Thursday night. They also own an impressive 71-46 win over nationally-ranked Virginia Tech on Jan. nine.