Duke forced Florida State into 25 turnovers—a season-high for the Seminoles—to secure a win and remain atop the ACC.
Fueled by Tricia Liston’s fourth 20-point game of the season, as well as double digit point totals from Elizabeth Williams and Chelsea Gray, the Blue Devils (13-2, 4-0 in the ACC) pulled away late for a 73-66 victory over Florida State (10-8, 2-2 ) in Cameron Friday night.
Early on, both teams struggled to protect the ball. Duke maintained a small lead throughout the first half due to its ability to force 17 turnovers from the Seminoles—just two below their game average of 19— in the first half.
“We did not do a good job of passing around people,” Seminole head coach Sue Semrau said.
The Blue Devils capitalized on their opponents’ carelessness, outscoring Florida State 15-4 in points off turnovers in the half.
“If we would’ve taken care of the ball on our end, it would’ve been a different outcome,” Florida State senior Cierra Bravard said.
The Seminoles remained close, however as the Blue Devils turned the ball over ten times themselves in the period. In the second half, Florida State made a charge to bring the game within at the 18-minute mark.
Duke never surrendered the lead, however, as the team began to take better care of the ball. The team lasted until the 2:10 mark without a turnover.
Fueled by scoring from Liston, Gray, and Williams, the Blue Devils pushed their lead to double digits in the final ten minutes.
“We made some big plays down the stretch,” head coach Joanne P. McCallie said.
With just 2:48 remaining, Duke had its largest lead at 73-59. After nearly 18 minutes of turnover-free basketball, however, the Blue Devils let the Seminoles back into the game by giving the ball away five times the rest of the game, including three turnovers from Gray.
“We did not take care of the ball in the last few minutes and in a crucial game, that’ll hurt us,” Gray said.