TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Led by junior forward Natasha Howard’s double-double, the No. 20/21-ranked Florida State women’s basketball team picked up its ninth consecutive win over Clemson, 83-61, on Sunday at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
Howard, who scored 19 points and grabbed 11 boards, became the 28th Seminole to score 1,000 career points when she drilled a free throw at the 11:01 mark in the first half.
The Toledo, Ohio, native led five Seminoles in double figures as senior forward Chelsea Davis (19 points) and senior guards Alexa Deluzio (16), Leonor Rodriguez (16) and Morgan Toles (10) also scored 10 or more points for a Garnet and Gold squad that shot 55 percent after halftime.
Toles dished eight assists, while Davis tallied a career-high four steals.
Florida State (18-4, 8-3 in the ACC) was in control the entire game and pulled away down the stretch.
“I was pleased with our offensive effort,” Florida State head coach Sue Semrau said. “Having five players in double figures, turning the ball over at a low rate and 18 assists - all those things. I think offensively we saw some success. For us we just need to continue to improve defensively and we’ve got a week now where we can spend some time on that and get back to basics.”
At the 6:45 mark in the first half, the Seminoles took a 23-14 lead when Toles stole a pass from Clemson’s Charmaine Tay and found a streaking Howard for a fastbreak layup.
The teams traded four consecutive three-pointers during a one-minute span (3:40-2:40) in the first half as Deluzio and Rodriguez each hit long-range shot and Clemson’s Kelly Gramlich made a pair.
Deluzio’s layup on the break put the Noles up 38-26 and Florida State held a 38-30 lead at halftime.
The Seminoles made five of their first six field goal attempts after halftime.
A nifty reverse layup by junior guard Cheetah Delgado put FSU in front, 57-44, with 10:17 left in the game.
Gramlich’s third three of the day closed FSU’s lead to 9, 59-51, with eight minutes remaining.
Florida State answered with six straight points punctuated by a no-look pass from Rodriguez to a wide-open Davis for a layup that made the score 65-51 with 6:40 left in the contest.
Clemson junior forward Quinyotta Pettaway scored a season high 22 points to lead the Tigers (6-15, 2-8).
The victory marked the seventh time this season five Seminoles reached double figures in scoring.
“It opens a lot especially for the shooters because every game we play they’re going to trap me or Chelsea and there is going be wide open shots for Leo or Alexa,” Howard said of the Noles’ balance on offense. “It’s a good thing to have everybody scoring double figures on this team. We each share the ball a lot.”
The Florida State and Clemson coaching staffs both coached barefoot in support of Samaritan’s Feet, an organization dedicated to raising 10 million pairs of shoes for 10 million people over 10 years.
For more information on Florida State women's basketball, follow the Seminoles on Twitter @FSU_WBasketball and like their official Facebook page.
Notes: Florida State is now 7-0 with five or more players in double figures…In the first half at the 11:01 mark, Natasha Howard scored her 1000th career point on a free throw…FSU still has held every team that they have played this season under 50 percent shooting, holding Clemson to 43 percent today… Morgan Toles had a perfect shooting afternoon attempting and making all three of her field goals and making all four of her attempts at the line, she finished with 10 points and eight assists…Career high in steals for Chelsea Davis with four total…Howard had her 23rd career double-double and her 2nd double double game in a row bringing it to a total of eight so far this season.