GREENSBORO, N.C. – Despite a combined 26 points by seniors April Traylor and Lakesha Springle, the Florida State women’s basketball team ended the season with an 82-66 loss to the No. 1 seeded Duke Blue Devils in the first round of the ACC Tournament Friday night. The Seminoles conclude the season with a 13-15 record while Duke, which is ranked 4th nationally, goes to 25-3.
“I thought our team fought really hard and I was really proud of their effort,” FSU Head Coach Sue Semrau said. “Duke’s a great team. They have a lot of balance. I’m just proud of the way my team played. We played with heart and it was just an unselfish basketball game.”
Florida State trailed 39-33 at the half, but it was a battle from the get-go. Springle scored 10 first half points to lead the Seminoles who dominated the boards and outrebounded the Blue Devils 25-13 in the first 20 minutes. Despite going scoreless for nearly five minutes in the first half, the Seminoles’ defense kept them in the game.. Duke built its biggest lead of the half and led by nine with just over three minutes remaining, but Springle hit two crucial free throws at the 1:59 mark to give the Seminoles their first points on the board since just after the six minute mark. FSU pulled to within four but Traylor was called for a foul with 2.5 seconds left in the half and Duke hit two charity shots. A half-court basket from FSU freshman LaQuinta Neely at the buzzer was waved off. Alana Beard and Iciss Tillis each had 10 points to lead the Blue Devils.
Duke scored the first five points of the second half to build its largest lead at 11 but freshman Linnea Liljestrand scored the Tribe’s first eight points to pull the Seminoles to within six at 47-41 with 14:18 remaining. That would be the closest FSU would get for the remainder of the game. FSU trailed by nine with 3:24 remaining when Duke scored the game’s next three points to go up 12 and the Blue Devils led by double-digits the rest of the way. Duke’s final 12 points were off of free throws.
FSU finished the game shooting 41 percent and outrebounded Duke by a margin of 42-37. Four players scored in double figures for the Seminoles who were led by Traylor’s 14 points. Liljestrand added 13 points while Springle had a season-high 12 and freshman Genesis Choice added 10. Springle and Katelyn Vujas led the way with seven rebounds apiece.
Duke was led by Beard’s 23 points.