Florida St. puts away Maryland with piece of ACC crown close
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State had too much balance and too deep a bench for Maryland.
Five players scored in double figures and reserves Chelsea Davis and Chasity Clayton combined for 26 points Sunday to spark the Seminoles (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today, No. 15 AP) to a 72-66 win over the Terrapins (No. 17 ESPN/USA Today, No. 16 AP).
"That was another key for them," Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. "And kind of disappointing from our end. We're used to being able to use our depth and get better play than what we did today."
Davis and Clayton outscored Maryland's bench players 26-7 with Davis sharing team scoring honors with Cierra Bravard with 14 points while Clayton and freshman Natasha Howard added a dozen each. Courtney Ward made it to 10 with four free throws in the final 24 seconds.
"I don't think that anybody cares who gets the credit," Florida State coach Sue Semrau said. "They just go to work and they work together. You can't ask for more. That's the way you win."
And that's something Semrau's Seminoles have been doing for awhile with 34 wins in their last 40 regular season ACC games.
Florida State (22-5, 10-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) can win at least a share of its third straight ACC title with victories this week at Miami and at home against Clemson. The Seminoles and No. 7 Duke are tied for first place with Miami (No. 16 ESPN/USA Today, No. 13 AP) still alive at 9-2.
"We can't worry about anything other than Miami right now," said Semrau, whose Seminoles can complete an unbeaten ACC road season Thursday with a victory at Miami.
Florida State led 36-28 at half with Clayton and Davis each scoring nine points while Maryland managed a single free throw from its reserves.
"They're going to come in and do what they do," Bravard said the spark Florida State gets from its top two reserves. "It's kind of expected out of them."
Clayton said she and Davis enjoy their role.
"We're just like, 'whatever,' this is how it's going to go," she said.
Alyssa Thomas led Maryland (21-6, 7-5 ACC) with a career high 26 points while Lynetta Kizer added 17 points and 10 rebounds.
The Terrapins routed Duke 69-47 on Thursday to open the door for Florida State to get back into title contention.
And the Terps looked like they might do it again with a quick start, but they shot just 37.1 percent from the floor and an icy 45.8 percent at the free throw line on an 11-of-24 showing.
"We have to be able to control the things that we can control," Frese said. "That's stepping up and making free throws and finishing on layups. Areas that we absolutely should be able to do."
Maryland jumped to a 9-1 lead and held eight point advantage on two other occasions early, but Florida State closed the half on a 30-14 run to grab command of the game.
Maryland managed to climb back to within 45-42 on Tianna Hawkins layup with 12:35 left in the second half, but no closer.
The Seminoles took their first lead at 24-22 on Ward's 3-point shot with 7:29 left in the half. They built a 13 point lead at 60-47 with 6:23 left.
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