Jan. 26, 2003
DURHAM, N.C. – Florida State gave No. 1 Duke all it could handle for 30 minutes, but the Blue Devils outscored the Seminoles 29-11 in the game’s final 10 minutes for the 81-63 victory. FSU fell to 13-5 overall and 5-2 in the ACC while Duke improved to 19-0 and 7-0 in league play.
“It seems Duke’s been able to find a way to do some things to win at the end and I think that’s a sign of a great team,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “They lived up to being the No. 1 team in the country today and I think (Duke head coach) Gail’s (Goestenkors) done a tremendous job. We did our job on (Alana) Beard and (Iciss) Tillis did her job on us. I just want to compliment the effort that the Duke players came out with today.”
Florida State scored the game’s first four points while the defense forced two turnovers and the Seminoles led 6-2 early. Duke scored six straight to take the lead and went on to build a seven-point lead at 22-15 with 9:16 left in the half. Linnea Liljestrand entered the game for the Seminoles and made an immediate impact. She hit a big three-pointer to pull the Tribe to within four and the shot started an 11-2 run for Florida State. The Seminoles took a 26-24 lead during that spurt with 5:04 to play. The rest of the half saw four lead changes and two ties. The Blue Devils regained the lead at 33-31 with two free throws at the 1:50 mark and led by five at 37-32 at halftime. Liljestrand led FSU with eight points in eight minutes while Iciss Tillis had 13 points and five rebounds to lead Duke. The Blue Devils had a 22-14 rebounding advantage and shot 45 percent for the half. FSU committed just six turnovers and shot 41 percent.
Duke hit two quick buckets to open the second half and built its largest lead at nine points at 41-32, but Florida State did not back down. Tasheika Morris, who scored just five first half points, scored FSU’s first eight points of the second half, all in a row, and the Seminoles were within two at 42-40. Duke went up six twice more before FSU forced a tie at 52-52 with 10:14 remaining. Then the Blue Devils exploded for seven straight points on their way to 16 of the game’s next 19 points and Duke led 68-55 with 4:15 left in the game. Florida State could get no closer the rest of the way as Duke shot 66 percent from the field in the second half on its way to the 18-point victory.
“I’m just happy to come away with a win,” Duke’s Gail Goestenkors said. “Sue (Semrau) did a great job preparing her team for us. They’re an excellent team. It shows why they came in with a record of 5-1 (in the ACC). They play very, very well together. Very team oriented and the score I don’t think, is indicative, obviously, of the type of game it was. It was much closer than that.”
Florida State was led by Morris’ 16 points while Liljestrand added 10 points off of the bench. The Seminoles finished the game shooting 39 percent and committed just 12 turnovers to Duke’s 21 mishaps. FSU’s defenses held All-American Alana Beard to a season-low seven points but Tillis recorded her career-high with a game-high 30 points. Duke shot 55 percent for the game and had a 39-27 rebounding edge.
FSU will play at Clemson on Thursday, January 30th at 7 p.m.