Jan. 13, 2012
DURHAM, N.C. (Seminoles.com) – The Florida State women’s basketball team gave No. 7/6 Duke all it could handle on Friday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
FSU shot 51.9 percent from the field – the best of any opponent against the Blue Devils this season, but Duke hung on for a hard fought 73-66 victory in part by scoring 26 points off of 25 Garnet and Gold turnovers.
It was a gutsy performance from the Noles, who had only seven players log court action.
“That was a heck of a game,” Florida State head coach Sue Semrau said. “We had too many turnovers tonight, and that’s something we’ve wrestled with all season. This team has come a long way, though. Duke hit some big shots early and did a good job of finding Elizabeth Williams in the post.
“I thought our effort was great, and our players really did some things to grow up tonight”
The Seminoles dropped to 10-8 on the season and 2-2 in the ACC, while Duke improved to 13-2 and 4-0 in the conference.
FSU made six of its first eight shot attempts and connected on 50 percent (13-of-26) in the first half. The Noles also held Duke to just 38.2 percent shooting in the first half, but committed 16 turnovers, which the Blue Devils converted into 15 points and helped them take a 35-29 lead into the break.
Duke guard Tricia Liston scored eight points before the second media timeout in the first half and her three-pointer at the 12-minute mark put the Blue Devils ahead 15-10. Alexa Deluzio answered right back for the Seminoles 10 seconds later with a three of her own to close the FSU deficit to two.
FSU stayed right with Duke until the end of the half. Sophomore Natasha Howard’s leaner 40 seconds before halftime brought FSU within a basket, but Duke closed the frame with consecutive buckets, including a buzzer-beating layup by Liston.
After Chelsea Gray scored a quick bucket to start the second half and extend the host’s lead to 8, FSU scored seven consecutive points. A corner three by Chasity Clayton followed a pair of Cierra Bravard free throws and the senior center muscled in jump shot to make the score 37-36 with 18 minutes remaining in the contest.
FSU would never take the lead in the second half, however, despite keeping the game close.
Liston buried a three-pointer with just under eight minutes left to give Duke a 60-51 advantage. Moments later Williams notched her first block, swatting a Bravard attempt out of bounds.
With 4:44 remaining, Gray corralled a steal and made an uncontested layup to give Duke a 68-55 lead.
Four Seminoles scored in double figures, led by Howard’s 17 points. Bravard (16), Clayton (15) and junior forward Chelsea Davis (10) also had solid offensive games.
For Duke, Liston led the way with 20 points, while Williams tallied 18.
The Seminoles matched the Blue Devils, 34-34, on the boards.
The Seminoles return home on Sunday to host No. 13/11 Miami at 3:30 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee. The game will air live on ESPNU.
In addition, youth will be admitted free with the purchase of an adult ticket to Sunday’s game with the Hurricanes. The contest is FSU’s “ACC Day” and the Noles will be raffling off a team-autographed basketball. Sign-up will be at the marketing table located in Section V.
For more information on Florida State women’s basketball, follow the Seminoles on Twitter at: @FSU_WBasketball.