DURHAM, N.C. (AP)—Tricia Liston showed again why she’s becoming a more important force for Duke as the season progresses.
Friday night against Florida State, she scored 20 points and helped the No. 7 Blue Devils win their 33rd straight game at Cameron Indoor Stadium with a 73-66 win.
The sophomore guard tied her career high of eight field goals, while freshman center Elizabeth Williams added 18 points and eight rebounds. Chelsea Gray added 11 points for the Blue Devils (13-2, 4-0), who also won their 25th straight ACC home game.
“They were focusing a lot on (Williams) inside, and once we got it in we were kicking it back out and kind of moving the ball around,” said Liston, who has scored at least 18 points seven times. “My teammates were finding me in open spots and I was getting really good looks, and I converted. If you have the presence inside and outside (the defenders) have to choose what they want to do. Do they want to double inside and give up the outside shot, or do they want to let (Williams) go one-on-one with someone? She kind of opens it up for everybody.”
Natasha Howard led FSU (10-8, 2-2) with 17 points while Cierra Bravard added 16, Chasity Clayton added 15 and Chelsea Davis 10.
“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.”
Duke shot 45.6 percent from the floor to 51.9 for the Seminoles, while each team had 34 rebounds. FSU committed 25 turnovers to Duke’s 15.
“It was a heck of a basketball game,” FSU coach Sue Semrau said. “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.”
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.
The Blue Devils never trailed in the second half, stretching the lead to 73-59 on a Richa Jackson 3-pointer with 2:48 to go before the Seminoles closed the gap.
“I think I did well at times,” Williams said. “Defensively, I made a lot of mistakes there. There were a couple of times where I was pinned, and obviously if I get pinned behind (center Bravard) it’s an easy bucket. She still scored too many points. I could have done a better job.”