Feb. 27, 2003
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State’s Tasheika Morris scored a game-high 18 points, but the Seminoles lost to No. 2 Duke, 70-49, Thursday night at the Leon County Civic Center. FSU fell to 15-11 overall and 7-8 in ACC play while the Blue Devils remained perfect in the league at 15-0 and went to 27-1 overall.
“I thought Duke did an excellent job of boxing us out tonight and kept us off the offensive glass which is a big part of our game,” FSU’s Sue Semrau said. “We found our rhythm a little bit better offensively in the first half, but we didn’t play as good or as hard as we could have defensively. Then we stepped up our defensive intensity in the second half and held them to 33 percent, but offensively we didn’t have enough people step up tonight.”
Playing without starting LaQuinta Neely and reserve post Lauren Bradley, who both suffered injuries in Tuesday’s practice, the Seminoles played some inspired basketball in the opening minutes of the game and led on three different occasions in the first five minutes of the contest. Junior Tasheika Morris scored eight of FSU’s first 14 points and the Seminoles led 14-13 at the 15:03 mark of the first half. Duke regained the lead and ran off five straight to go up four but FSU responded and the Tribe was within a point at 22-21 with 10:21 on the clock. A Blue Devil three-pointer got Duke started on a 14-1 run, giving the Devils a 14-point advantage. Morris and Trinetta Moore hit back-to-back buckets, followed by two Holly Johnson free throws and FSU trailed by just eight with just under two minutes to play. Another three-pointer put Duke up 41-30 at halftime. Morris led all scorers with 11 first half points as FSU shot 48 percent. Led by Alana Beard’s nine points, Duke shot 53 percent and had a 16-12 rebounding advantage.
Duke scored the first four points of the second half to take its largest lead at 15 points but the Seminoles kept fighting and scored six straight to pull within single digits at 45-36 with 14:53 left in the game. The Blue Devils scored eight of the game’s next nine points to go up 16 and led by at least 12 the rest of the game. Neither team shot well in the second half, each making just six field goals, but Duke went 15-for-17 from the free throw line in the final 20 minutes while the Seminoles scored just 19 points in the second half.
Alana Beard finished with 17 points in 27 minutes for Duke as the Blue Devils shot 46 percent for the game. Duke had a 33-26 edge on the boards. Trinetta Moore led FSU with seven rebounds and was second to Morris in scoring with nine points.
“I just give credit to Florida State,” Duke head coach Gail Goestenkors said. “I know they were playing in an adverse situation without LaQuinta Neely and Lauren Bradley. It was a tough situation for them to be in, but I thought they really competed. From start to finish they were ready to play, they were focused, they were hustling and they made everything difficult for us. We got really no easy looks, no easy baskets. They showed great character through the adversity that they had.”
Florida State will conclude the regular-season on Sunday, March 2nd with a 1 p.m. tilt vs. Clemson (13-13, 5-10). The game will be televised live regionally, including Sunshine Network. The Seminoles will honor senior Katelyn Vujas in a pregame ceremony.