No. 3 Duke 87, No. 21 Florida St. 70

Duke’s Jasmine Thomas was just too much for Florida State.

Thomas scored 22 points to lead the third-ranked Blue Devils to
an 87-70 road victory, delivering not only several clutch shots but
finishing off the No. 21 Seminoles with game highs in rebounds,
assists and steals.

”She’s just clutch all of the time,” Florida State coach Sue
Semrau said afterward. ”She just makes their team go.”

The Blue Devils (16-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) got 15
points each from freshmen Haley Peters and Tricia Liston, while
Chelsea Gray, also a freshman, added 13. Duke got 46 of its points
from first-year players.

”I’m excited to see the way in which Jasmine is leading the
younger players,” Duke coach Joanne McCallie said. ”The younger
players are following her lead, her attack mode. The way she plays
the game and the intensity.”

Duke took the lead at 18-16 on Thomas’ 3-pointer that ignited a
25-8 run, culminating with a 3-pointer from Liston that put the
Blue Devils ahead 40-24.

”The thing about Jasmine that makes her so special is that she
finds a way to get everyone involved,” Semrau said. ”She’s one of
the fastest players we’ve ever had to face.”

Courtney Ward scored a game-high 25 points and Alexa Deluzio
added 17 for Florida State, which closed within three points with
12:28 left only to see Duke quickly regain command.

”We didn’t have enough in our tank,” Semrau said. ”It was too
much, too late.”

Florida State (14-1, 2-1) cut Duke’s lead to 40-30 at halftime
on Ward’s desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Another Ward 3-pointer trimmed Duke’s lead to 56-51 with 13:13
left, and Bravard followed 40 seconds later with a layup as the
Seminoles got within three at 56-53. But Thomas again kicked off
another run, this one a 20-7 Blue Devils spurt that decided the
game.

”We gave up some easy shots in the second half that we weren’t
giving up in the first half,” Thomas said. ”I think we were just
intense and we were aggressive.”

Thomas, a 5-9 senior, narrowly missed a triple-double with nine
rebounds and eight assists – both game highs. She also had three
steals.

Nine players scored for the Blue Devils in the opening half as
their bench players outscored Florida State 15-0. Duke capitalized
on 14 first half Florida State turnovers for 21 points, while the
Seminoles managed just three on Duke’s miscues.

Duke shot 52.3 percent for the game and won the rebound battle
40-34. Florida State shot 40 percent and its 19 turnovers
contributed to 29 Duke points.

Freshman Natasha Howard had 14 points and Cierra Bravard 12 for
the Seminoles, who got all but two of its points from four
players.

The Duke women did something its male counterparts failed to do
two nights ago in Tallahassee, when Mike Krzyzewski’s top-ranked
team lost its perfect season in a 66-61 loss to the Seminoles.