CLEMSON, S.C. – Courtney Ward scored 21 points to lead No. 22 Florida State to an 83-73 win over Clemson on Thursday night.
The Seminoles (15-4, 3-1 Atlantic Coast) never trailed. But the Lady Tigers (8-12, 1-4) fought back from an early 11-point deficit to tie the game at 51 with 13 minutes to go.
Florida State answered with a 25-10 run in the next 10 minutes, led by three 3-pointers by Ward.
The Seminoles came into the game shooting better than 45 percent from the field, but made just 36.5 percent of their shots Thursday night.
But they made up for their poor shooting at the foul line. Florida State made 22 of 34 free throws, while Clemson only went to the line six times, making five foul shots.
Clemson turned the ball over 14 times as the Lady Tigers lost their 50th game in a row to a ranked opponent.
Shaniqua Pauldo led Clemson with 21 points. Chancie Dunn added 18.
Alexa Deluzio added 17 points, while Natasha Howard had 16 points and nine rebounds and Cierra Bravard added 12 points and 11 rebounds for Florida State.
Back in the 1990s, the Seminoles were the ACC's doormat, while the Lady Tigers were among the league's elite. The tables have turned in the last several years.
Florida State has shared the ACC regular season title the past two seasons and won 16 of the last 17 games against Clemson. The Lady Tigers have missed the last eight NCAA tournaments after staying home just once in the 15 years before.
The Seminoles jumped out to a 13-2 lead as Deluzio scored seven points in the first four minutes of the game. But Florida State could never put the Lady Tigers away.
Pauldo helped Clemson creep back in, and her two free throws with two minutes left in the first half cut Florida State's lead to 29-27.
The Lady Tigers stayed close, finally tying it at 51 on Chancie Dunn's basket with 13:30 to go. They had two chances to take the lead, but both times the shots rolled around the rim before popping out.
Deluzio put Florida State up for good with a driving bucket and free throw. Howard followed with a short jumper, then Deluzio buried a 3 that put the Seminoles up 59-51 with 10:48 to go.
Florida State now faces a showdown Monday with the ACC's surprise team, Miami. The No. 17 Hurricanes have opened the ACC season at 4-0.