Jan. 29, 2010
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - No. 7 Duke was having an easy time with its toughest ACC test so far – and that was before Jasmine Thomas got rolling.
Thomas scored 18 of her 23 points in the second half, and the seventh-ranked Blue Devils routed No. 13 Florida State 73-43 on Friday night.
Krystal Thomas added 10 points and 11 rebounds for Duke (18-3, 6-0). The only team unbeaten in Atlantic Coast Conference play went up by double figures to stay before Florida State hit its second field goal, and cruised to its 11th straight league victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
“I thought it was incredibly dominant,” coach Joanne P. McCallie said. “Not so much with the score, but the intensity.”
Courtney Ward scored 11 points, but the Seminoles (18-4, 4-2) had a season-high 27 turnovers and had their four-game winning streak snapped with their most lopsided loss of the season. After falling behind by 19 in the first half, they didn’t get closer than 15 after the break.
“We just got handled tonight by a team that played more athletic, played harder,” Florida State coach Sue Semrau said.
Allison Vernerey had 11 points for Duke, which dominated the boards in a meeting of two of the nation’s top rebounding teams. The Blue Devils, who entered with an ACC-best rebounding margin of plus-10.6, held a 51-30 edge on the glass.
Jasmine Thomas was 4 for 5 from 3-point range, had her second straight 20-point game and reached double figures for the 10th straight time.
“She’s just able to hit shots, and they come in bunches,” Krystal Thomas said. “Once that first one goes in, it seems like we’re going to get 10 more.”
Joy Cheek scored her 1,000th career point, helping the Blue Devils win their third straight and 11th in 12 games – with the only loss in that stretch coming to unbeaten No. 1 Connecticut.
Duke has won 29 of 32 against the Seminoles, though this was only the third time both teams were ranked at the time. The Blue Devils haven’t lost to an ACC team at home since coach Joanne P. McCallie’s first season in 2007-08.
This was supposed to be their toughest ACC test to date, but their aggressive play at both ends of the floor turned this top-15 matchup into no contest.
“We work very hard, and we focus a lot on defense,” Jasmine Thomas said. “And when it comes down to it, defense is what’s going to win those games.”
Duke created easy baskets at will early and frustrated Florida State with a full-court press, taking control with a game-opening 20-2 run capped by Shay Selby’s layup with 9:41 left.
The start couldn’t have gone much worse for the Seminoles, who missed 12 of their first 13 shots. They didn’t crack double figures until Jacinta Monroe’s jumper with 1:22 left in the half made it 30-11 and were held to a season-low 13 first-half points. They had 13 turnovers at the break.
“They got their hands on balls all over the place,” Semrau said. “We missed shots, and they rebounded the ball a lot better than we did.”
Monroe, who entered averaging 13 points, finished with six on 3-of-11 shooting. Florida State fell to 1-2 against Top 25 teams this season and faces another one – No. 12 North Carolina – on Monday night down the road in Chapel Hill.