TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Duke made the tough shots that Florida State didn't, and that was enough for the fifth-ranked Blue Devils to stay undefeated in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Haley Peters scored 18 points Sunday to lead the Blue Devils over the Seminoles 67-57. And Peters got most them against Florida State's 6-3 Natasha Howard.
The 6-3 Peters shot 8 of 14 despite facing the Seminoles' best post defender.
"Haley just looked like she was shooting shots in practice," Duke coach Joanne McCallie said. "She was very, very balanced and very confident. That was important to the team."
Howard had three blocked shots and three steals, but it wasn't enough.
"I wouldn't want to be shooting over Natasha Howard, but Haley Peters did a great job of it," Florida State coach Sue Semrau said.
Elizabeth Williams added 13 points, including 10 in the second half, and Shay Selby 11 for Duke, which is bearing down on a third consecutive ACC title. Selby sparked a 12-2 run late in the first half that wiped out Florida State's 19-16 lead and put the Blue Devils in control. Selby had two baskets and a steal that set up another in that decisive spurt.
McCallie praised Selby for "stepping up and really taking care of the team," which has won five straight over Florida State since a Jan. 29, 2009, overtime loss in Tallahassee.
Duke's only losses this season have been out of the ACC to UConn, Kentucky and Notre Dame — all ranked in the Top 10.
The Blue Devils (21-3, 12-0 ACC) led 32-25 at halftime and built their largest lead at 19 points on two occasions in the second half. They shot 49.1 percent from the floor and were 5 of 8 on 3-pointers. The Seminoles were just 2 of 9 from behind the arc.
"They were just tough shots that they were making," Florida State's Alexa Deluzio said.
The easy shots, however, were a different story. Duke made only 8 of 15 free throws while Florida State was 15 of 16 at the line to keep things respectable.
Duke held Seminoles center Cierra Bravard without a field goal and to just four shots. Bravard, who had 16 points in Florida State's loss at Duke last month, did make all six of her free throw attempts and had six rebounds.
"We didn't want to foul her as much as we did," Peters said. "Overall we did a good job getting around her and making sure the ball didn't get into her as easily as it did last time we played."
Florida State played Sunday without junior forward Chasity Clayton, who was suspended for the game after violating an unspecified team rule. Clayton, who averages 9.3 points and 5.6 rebounds, had 15 points and seven rebounds in Florida State's 73-66 loss at Duke a month ago.
"There's just been a lot of distractions and I think sometimes when the distraction enters in, the focus suffers," Semrau said. "We are a young team mentally and that's where we are growing up the most right now."
Deluzio scored 18 points and Howard 14 for Florida State (13-13, 5-7), which is likely to miss the NCAA tournament for the first time in eight years. Deluzio's first basket of the game pushed her over the 1,000-point mark at Florida State.
Florida State managed to get within 63-55 on a jumper by Olivia Bresnahan with 2:27 left, but no closer.
Transfer point guard Morgan Toles scored her first basket for Florida State but committed seven of the team's 20 turnovers in her first start for the Seminoles.
"She hasn't played in nine months or something," Semrau said. "She comes in and we expect her to be in game shape and she plays 33 minutes. She doesn't back down."