Cierra Bravard finishes strong to lead Florida St. by BC

BOSTON -- Florida State knew when it was time to slow the game down and get the ball inside.

Cierra Bravard scored 11 of her 21 points in the final 6 1/2 minutes and Alexa Deluzio hit a pair of key 3-pointers, helping the Seminoles (No. 15 ESPN/USA Today, No. 21 AP) hold off Boston College 102-93 on Thursday night.

Deluzio finished with 20 points and six assists for Florida State (17-4, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). Courtney Ward had 20 points, 14 in the second half.

When BC's leading scorer and rebounder, 6-foot-6 Carolyn Swords, fouled out with 8 minutes to play, the Seminoles knew it was time to go inside to the 6-foot-4 Bravard.

"When we got Swords fouled out, I knew Cierra was going to dominate the paint because no one, no one was going to stop her," Deluzio said. "The good thing about our team is we don't have two set scorers that we have to rely on. Anyone can score. I feel like we're all clicking."

The Seminoles, who won for the eighth time in nine games, had six players in double figures in a game that was wide open until BC's post players got in foul trouble.

"I thought it was a very up-tempo game," Boston College coach Sylvia Crawley said. "Florida State usually likes to walk the ball up the floor. We tried a few things to get them to speed up."

But it all changed when BC had no one to defend Bravard.

Swords, who entered averaging 18 points and 8.9 boards per game, was held to four points and three rebounds.

"I think our kids did a good job of delivering it inside," Florida State coach Sue Semrau said. "We had a big, strong kid in there that was hard to defend."

Stefanie Murphy scored a career-high 30 points to lead the Eagles (15-6, 2-4). Jaclyn Thoman had 17 points, six rebounds and five assists.

"It was a battle because there is a lot of big post players out there tonight," said Murphy, who had to sit for a while in the second half with four fouls. "Every time down the court is a battle. In a game like this you don't feel it until the end of the game."

The Seminoles beat Miami (No. 22 ESPN/USA Today, No. 16 AP) 68-59 in their previous game Monday.

After BC tied the game 81-all with just more than 7 minutes to play, Bravard hit three free throws and Deluzio nailed a 3-pointer from the left corner, pushing the Seminoles ahead by six with 4 1/2 minutes left.

"Boston College has been scoring," Semrau said. "We knew we'd have to slow them down. We didn't. We just had to match them offensively."

The Eagles entered averaging 81.3 points a game.

Kristen Doherty's two free throws cut it to 89-85, but Bravard's three-point play gave the Seminoles a seven-point advantage with 2:53 to go. Deluzio's second 3-pointer in the closing minutes made it 95-88 with just more than 2 minutes left.

Ward's fourth 3-pointer of the second half gave Florida State a 79-73 lead with 9 1/2 minutes left before the Eagles scored eight of the next 10 points, tying it at 81 on Thoman's foul-line jumper.

Ward, who scored six points in the first half, nailed three 3-pointers in the opening 3:06 of the second as Florida State opened a 62-55 lead.

BC cooled off considerably after a strong shooting performance in the first half, but Florida State stayed on target. BC missed nine of its first 13 shots in the opening 7 1/2 minutes of the second half while the Seminoles went 7-of-11.

The Seminoles used a late first-half run to take a 49-48 lead at halftime.

In a first half that was filled with up-tempo play and accurate outside shooting, Florida State recovered from a six-point deficit by outscoring the Eagles 16-9 over the final 4 minutes.

The Eagles came out firing from long range, hitting four of their initial five shots from beyond the arc to build a 20-12 edge. The Seminoles then went on an 18-7 run over the ensuing 6 minutes to take their first lead of the game.

BC was 7-of-10 on 3-point attempts in the opening 20 minutes and shot 59.4 percent overall. The Seminoles shot 58.6 percent from the floor, going 5-of-9 from beyond the arc.