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Florida State Seminoles women maintain ACC lead with win over Clemson

Florida State’s Courtney Ward, right, goes to the hoop under pressure from Clemson’s Kirstyn Wright during the first half.

Associated Press

Florida State’s Courtney Ward, right, goes to the hoop under pressure from Clemson’s Kirstyn Wright during the first half.

CLEMSON, S.C. — Last time out, Florida State's Jacinta Monroe felt like she let her team down even though she was hampered by a sore shoulder. Thursday night, she ignored the lingering pain and played one of the best games of her career.

Monroe scored a career-best 24 and had nine rebounds to lead the No. 11 Seminoles to a 75-58 win over Clemson. The win kept FSU (22-5, 10-1 ACC) a game up on Maryland and Duke for first place with three games left as the Seminoles try to win a league title for the first time since joining the conference 18 years ago.

Monroe's sore shoulder limited her to five points in 23 minutes in a win over North Carolina, and she had scored a combined 23 in her past three games. Thursday, the junior made 9 of 12 shots from the field and 6 of 11 free throws. She also blocked a shot, tying the school record with 209 career blocks.

"My team has done a great job of stepping up for me, because I wasn't really showing up," Monroe said. "But this game I was focused on being there for my team."

When coach Sue Semrau took over in 1997, FSU was coming off an 0-16 season. Since the ACC expanded five seasons ago, the Seminoles have finished no worse than fifth, and they tied a school record Thursday with their 10th ACC win.

ARKANSAS 83, NO. 15 UF 74: Ayana Brereton and Charity Ford scored 19 each as the visiting Razorbacks handed the Gators their third consecutive loss.

Florida (22-5, 8-3 SEC) has lost all three in somewhat lopsided fashion since beating defending national champion Tennessee and climbing to No. 9 in the rankings.

"Arkansas played a great game," Gators coach Amanda Butler said. "They were very confident, very aggressive and really took it to us. Our response to their energy was very disappointing. I thought we had letdowns in every area."

The Gators used a 7-0 run to make it 51-50 midway through the second half, but the Razorbacks (16-11, 5-7) pulled away.

Top 25

NO. 18 VANDY 73, NO. 3 AUBURN 70: Merideth Marsh hit two free throws with 11 seconds left, and the host Commodores (21-6, 10-2) tied the Tigers (25-2, 10-2) atop the SEC with two games left in the regular season.

NO. 7 DUKE 62, VA. TECH 46: Abby Waner scored 15 as the Blue Devils (22-3, 9-2 ACC) improved to 13-0 at home this season. Duke blew it open with a 16-0 run beginning midway through the first half, scoring 14 off steals.

NO. 9 MARYLAND 87, GA. TECH 79: Marissa Coleman scored 23 and Lynetta Kizer had a career-high 22 points and 10 rebounds as the visiting Terrapins (22-4, 9-2 ACC) won their sixth straight.

NO. 10 UNC 92, BC 68: Rashanda McCants had 19 points and eight rebounds to help the Tar Heels (23-4, 8-3 ACC) snap a three-game conference road skid.

KENTUCKY 66, NO. 13 TENN. 56: Eleia Roddy and Amani Franklin scored 18 as the host Wildcats handed the Vols (18-8, 7-4 SEC) their first loss at Memorial Coliseum in 23 years. Kentucky, which went in having lost six of seven, beat a ranked team for the first time this season.

NO. 20 OHIO ST. 73, MINN. 62: Samantha Prahalis scored 17 as the visiting Buckeyes (21-5, 12-3) avenged a loss at home to the Gophers and remained tied with Michigan State atop the Big Ten.

NO. 23 UVA 84, MIAMI 75, OT: Lyndra Littles hit a tying heave in regulation and finished with 27 points for the host Cavaliers (20-7, 6-5 ACC), who barely ended a two-game losing streak. The Hurricanes (13-13, 2-9) led most of the way.

Florida State Seminoles women maintain ACC lead with win over Clemson 02/19/09 [Last modified: Thursday, February 19, 2009 11:54pm]
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