Lady Noles Fall to No. 3 Duke

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 15 Florida State women’s basketball team sustained its first conference loss of the season Friday night in an 87-70 defeat at the hands of No. 3 Duke at the Donald L. Tucker Center.

The Seminoles (14-4, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed most of the first half but cut the Blue Devils’ (16-0, 2-0) lead to just three points with 12:48 remaining. Much to the delight of the raucous home crowd, it appeared as if the ’Noles then had enough to overtake Duke but the visitors answered with a 20-7 run that closed the game.

Senior point guard Courtney Ward had five assists and scored a game-high 25 points, thanks to 6-of-9 shooting from 3-point range. Ward’s six triples were enough to move her into a tie for second place all-time in FSU history for 3-pointers made.

Three other FSU players scored in double figures. Redshirt sophomore guard Alexa Deluzio finished with 17 points and freshman forward Natasha Howard had 14 points and five rebounds.

Junior forward Cierra Bravard had 12 points and six rebounds.

Florida State struggled with the basketball in the opening half as the team committed 14 turnovers in the game’s first 20 minutes. The Seminoles committed just turnovers in the second half.

Duke, which was led by Jasmine Thomas’ 22 points, won the rebounding battle 40-34.

As a team, FSU shot 40 percent from the field compared to the Blue Devils’ 52-percent clip. Duke had 42 points in the paint and FSU had 28.

Florida State continues its march through the ACC schedule with a road trip to Clemson on the horizon. The Seminoles take on the Tigers on Thursday in South Carolina.

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