With a large number of Florida State fans in town for Friday night’s Orange Bowl football game against Michigan, perhaps some of them will make a slight detour to Coral Gables on Thursday night at 7.
That’s when and where the seventh-ranked Seminoles (12-1) will visit the No. 11 Miami Hurricanes (11-1) in women’s basketball. The game will set at least one series record: Never have these two programs faced each other with higher national rankings.
Both teams are also on 11-game win streaks, and depth is a factor.
“Our bench has the secret to our success, but FSU can make the same claim,” Canes coach Katie Meier said. “This is the first game we will have played this season where their bench can match ours.
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“They have McDonald’s All-Americans who are not even getting 10 minutes a game.”
FSU can certainly recruit, and that explains why FSU has beaten Miami four times in a row in Coral Gables. The last time Miami defeated FSU here was on Feb. 19, 2012, when the Canes prevailed 67-60.
But Miami won the most recent matchup, beating Florida State in the 2016 ACC tournament quarterfinals. Still, FSU is 9-2 against Miami over the past four years.
Both teams start veteran lineups — no freshmen or sophomores are regulars at the opening tip.
FSU’s leading scorer is Leticia Romero, a 5-8 senior guard from Spain who is averaging 14.3 points. She has hurt Miami in five previous games, shooting 60.9 percent from the floor while averaging 16.2 points and 4.8 assists.
This season, she is shooting phenomenally well — 92.0 percent on free throws, 57.9 percent on three-pointers (22 of 38) and 59.6 percent from the field.
FSU, which is outscoring its opponents by an average of 30 points and outrebounding them by 13, has the statistical edge over Miami in just about every category except three-pointers.
Miami has made more three-pointers (95 to 76) and shoots a higher percentage (38.0 to 37.1).
The Canes have four guards who can hurt FSU from deep: starters Adrienne Motley and Jessica Thomas and reserves Nigia Greene and Laura Cornelius. They have combined to make 78 three-pointers this season, and Greene and Cornelius have been especially hot, with a 43.2 percent clip for each.
Among Miami’s starters, the most improved player is Erykah Davenport, a 6-2 junior forward who is averaging 10.2 points and 6.3 rebounds while shooting 70.3 percent from the floor.
Davenport and 6-1 senior forward Keyona Hayes are Miami’s keys inside, but the Seminoles — as Meier mentioned — can bring standouts off the bench such as 6-3 junior Chatrice White, 6-3 freshman Jasmine Walker and 6-5 senior Kai James.
It should be a fun matchup, one the Canes are eagerly anticipating.
“We want to prove,” Greene said, “that we’re the best team in the state.”