Florida State hangs with No. 7 Duke women in loss
DURHAM, N.C.—For Florida State, this was about as good as result as possible without actually beating No. 7 Duke.
Natasha Howard led FSU (10-8, 2-2 AC) with 17 points while Cierra Bravard added 16, Chasity Clayton added 15 and Chelsea Davis 10 in a game in which the Seminoles outshot the Blue Devils and played them even on the boards, but ultimately lost 73-66 Friday night.
"It was a heck of a basketball game," said FSU coach Sue Semrau, whose team has won seven of its last 10 games. "I thought both teams really fought. We turned the ball over a little bit too much, and that's been something we've wrestled with. But my team's coming a long way and I thought Duke did a good job of hitting the big shots early and finding (Williams) on the interior. When we took some chances, they did a good job of finding her with the second and third look."
Tricia Liston had 20 points, tying her career high of eight field goals, while freshman center Elizabeth Williams added 18 points and eight rebounds and Chelsea Gray 11 points for Duke (13-2, 4-0).
Duke has won 33 straight games at Cameron Indoor Stadium and has a 25-game home win streak against ACC opposition. FSU has lost eight straight in Durham.
"It was a hard-fought game, just what you'd expect," Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. "I thought Florida State played very, very well - based on the films that's the best they've played this year. They shot a great percentage and their go-to players performed. . Tricia is a heady player. She's pretty opportunistic and I think that, again, she just does a great job looking for opportunities that might present themselves. Also, Chelsea looks for her pretty well and they play off each other well."
FSU shot 51.9 percent from the floor to 45.6 for the Blue Devils, while each team had 34 rebounds. FSU committed 25 turnovers to Duke's 15.
Bravard, FSU's 6-foot-4 center and only senior, said the Seminoles are showing pretty steady improvement.
"I think our last three games have shown how much progress we're making," Bravard said. "We had a rough start, but it's a lot more fun now. We're playing together and we're starting to figure it out. I think if we take away what we didn't do well tonight we would have won the game. Credit to (Duke), they played great. Offensively they hit shots. But if we had taken care of the ball on our end it would have been a different outcome."
Duke led 35-29 at halftime behind 13 points from Liston. FSU shot 50 percent in the first half to 38.2 for Duke, which committed 10 turnovers over the period to the Seminoles' 16.
FSU never led in the second half, trailing 73-59 on a Richa Jackson 3-pointer with 2:48 to go before narrowing the gap down the stretch.