Feb. 22, 2013
DURHAM, N.C. – Junior forward Natasha Howard collected her third straight double-double, but the No. 19/20-ranked Florida State women’s basketball team fell at Duke, 61-50, on Friday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Howard scored 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while senior guard Alexa Deluzio tallied 16 points for the Seminoles (20-6, 10-5 in the ACC).
Florida State took a 24-20 by hitting three of its first four shots of the second half, but made just three of their next 16, as the Blue Devils (25-1, 15-0 in the ACC) extended its conference-record ACC home game winning streak to 38 games.
“This is one of the best places to play in college basketball,” Florida State head coach Sue Semrau said. “When Duke made that run and pulled ahead, the crowd made the difference. This is the best arena in the ACC as far as the volume on the road. It took us out of our game a little bit. We didn’t get the production we wanted on the low block. (Elizabeth Williams) did a good job. She is just so physical. She contained Chelsea Davis. It was a good basketball game. Credit Duke for being a player down and rallying.
“This Florida State team has great fight. Duke’s run was too long obviously. They made a great adjustment to our zone. Credit them.”
Williams finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Blue Devils.
Duke used a 15-0 run midway through the final frame to take control of the contest.
DU reserve guard Chloe Wells’ third three gave Duke a 34-28 lead with 12 minutes left. Blue Devil freshman guard Alexis Jones followed with a steal and layup before stealing the inbounds pass and passing to sophomore center Elizabeth Williams. After Williams made a pair of free throws, Duke held a 38-28 lead.
Wells’ fourth trey with 9:13 left extended the Duke advantage to 43-28 and Jackson converted a three-point play 20 seconds later to put the Blue Devils in front 46-28.
The Blue Devils led by as many as 20, 52-32, with 6:15 left, but FSU scored 11 consecutive points to get back in the contest.
A pair of free throws by senior guard Morgan Toles brought the Seminoles within as many as 7, 55-48, with 1:40 left.
Both teams struggled to score in the first half and Duke held a 20-18 halftime lead after Wells drilled a 28-foot three at the 25-second mark and Deluzio’s fade-away baseline jumper attempt was blocked by Jackson at the halftime buzzer.
The Seminoles (27 percent) and the Blue Devils (26 percent) both had their worst first-half shooting performances of the season.
In its first game without All-America point guard Chelsea Gray, Duke turned the ball over 15 times in the first half.
FSU finished with an ACC game season-best of 15 steals.
The Noles get a day break before facing Virginia Tech on Sunday at 1 p.m. in Blacksburg, Va.
For more information on Florida State women’s basketball, follow the Seminoles on Twitter @FSU_WBasketball and like their official Facebook page.