This rivalry game may not do too much to help determine who will win the ACC women’s basketball regular season title. Notre Dame’s lead over Louisville, Miami (Fl.), NC State and Florida State could hold simply because there isn’t much time left before the conference tournament begins. But Sunday’s matchup at 12 p.m. on ESPN2 between No. 14 Miami and No. 22 Florida State at the Watsco Center in Coral Gables is still a rivalry game all the same. And it’s one between two ranked foes.
Here’s what you should watch for:
Miami’s projected starting lineup
G — Mykea Gray (So.): 5-4; 12.6 points, 2.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists per game
G — Laura Cornelius (RS-Jr.): 5-8; 10.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists per game
G — Endia Banks (So.): 5-9; 3.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists per game
F — Beatrice Mompremier (RS-Jr.): 6-4; 16.3 points, 11.7 rebounds, 1.0 assist per game
F/C — Emese Hof (Sr.): 6-3; 14.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists per game
Florida State’s projected starting lineup
G — Nicki Ekhomu (Jr.): 5-9; 15.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists per game
G — Nausia Woolfolk (Jr.): 5-9; 13.0 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists per game
G — Morgan Jones (Fr.): 6-2; 4.4 points, 2.5 rebounds, 0.2 assists per game
F — Kiah Gillespie (RS-Jr.): 6-2; 16.8 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists per game
F — Valencia Myers (Fr.): 6-3; 8.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 0.6 assists per game
When Miami has the ball
Don’t think there’s one person a defense can shut down and with that person frustrate the Hurricanes’ entire offensive strategy. Miami (22-6, 10-3 in ACC) has four players who average more than 10 points each game. Mompremier and Hof can take command of a game in the post. Gray and Cornelius can do the same from the perimeter. It’s why the Hurricanes are in the top half of the conference in terms of points per game, 74.7, field goal percentage, .453, and 3-point field goal percentage, .365.
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The Seminoles have allowed opponents to shoot 41.1 percent from the field so far this season, too. If Miami can hold onto the ball and not turn it over as the Hurricanes did when these two sides met in January — a game FSU won, 62-58, with 19 points off 23 turnovers — Miami will be able to score as it did in recent upset wins earlier this month against Notre Dame and Louisville.
When Florida State has the ball
Expect Gillespie, Ekhomu and Woolfolk to command the bulk of the shots and try to establish their ability to hit 3s. Each one of those Seminoles players has more than 300 shots this season, no other player has more than 200, and more than a third of their shots have come from behind the arc. The issue there is while FSU (21-5, 9-4 in ACC) hits 41.2 percent of its shots from the field as a team it hits just 28.1 percent of its 3s. And Gillespie, Ekhomu and Woolfolk combined hit just 31.2 percent of their 3s.
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When Florida State beat Miami close to a month ago it didn’t light up the scoreboard but it did take advantage of the opportunities off turnovers and at the free-throw line. The Seminoles hit 12-of-13 attempts at the line. They turned the ball over nine less times. They held the Hurricanes to just seven points off 14 turnovers by the Seminoles. Florida State has the potential to score in bunches, but don’t be surprised if FSU sweeps its rival in a second low-scoring game.