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Florida State Seminoles women rally to beat Miami, move within a win of ACC title

TALLAHASSEE — After trailing for more than 30 minutes, No. 11 Florida State was on the verge of relinquishing sole possession of the ACC lead against 10th-place Miami on Sunday.

"It was tough from the get-go," FSU junior center Jacinta Monroe said. "We didn't come out focused. We didn't have the energy."

What the Seminoles did have was enough resolve, and good fortune, to overcome a 16-point deficit and escape with a 59-58 victory.

Monroe scored 14 of her 16 in the second half and Tanae Davis-Cain added 15 for the Seminoles, but it was Alysha Harvin who put FSU within one victory of its first ACC title.

Harvin sank two free throws with 8.7 seconds left after Hurricanes junior Diane Barnes, thinking her team was trailing, fouled her away from the ball, and the Seminoles (23-5, 11-1) withstood a desperation putback attempt by Miami's Shenise Johnson after she missed a tying free-throw attempt.

"We came out of that one by the skin of our teeth," coach Sue Semrau said after the Seminoles won their 11th ACC game for the first time. "That was a Miami team that fought their guts out."

NO. 15 UF 82, S.C. 66: Sha Brooks scored 24 and Marshae Dotson 18, and the host Gators (23-5, 9-4 SEC) snapped a three-game skid. Brooks made 5 of 7 3-pointers and had six rebounds and eight assists. She and fellow seniors Dotson, Aneika Henry and Kim Critton combined for 44 points and 16 rebounds on Senior Day.

"It was a special day for us," coach Amanda Butler said. "It was an opportunity to honor four young ladies who have given so much to their university. The fact that we were able to do that off the heels of another big SEC victory was special."

Top 25

NO. 1 UCONN 76, NO. 24 NOTRE DAME 66: Renee Montgomery had 20 points, eight assists and five steals in leading the Huskies (27-0, 13-0 Big East) to their 37th straight home win and fifth victory over a ranked team. The Irish (18-7, 7-6) fell to 5-3 against ranked teams.

NO. 3 AUBURN 65, UGA 59: DeWanna Bonner scored 22 and the host Tigers (26-2, 11-2) made 9 of 10 free throws in the final 44 seconds to clinch at least a share of their first SEC title in 20 years.

NO. 9 MARYLAND 77, NO. 7 DUKE 59: Kristi Toliver scored 34 and Marissa Coleman 24, and the Terrapins (23-4, 10-2 ACC) used a big second half to win their 33rd straight home game and seventh in a row overall.

NO. 13 TENN. 82, MISS. ST. 68: Kelley Cain had 17 points and 11 rebounds as the host Volunteers (19-8, 8-4 SEC) avoided their first three-game skid since 1986. Coach Pat Summitt refused to let her players use their locker room before the game.

OLE MISS 71, NO. 18 VANDY 69: Kayla Melson's layup gave the Rebels the lead with six seconds left, and an apparent tying shot by Jence Rhoads was overturned as host Mississippi stunned the Commodores (21-7, 10-3 SEC).

NO. 20 OHIO ST. 79, INDIANA 67: Star Allen tied a career high with 22 points, and the visiting Buckeyes (22-5, 13-3) moved into sole possession of first place in the Big Ten.

KANSAS 58, NO. 21 IOWA ST. 47: Danielle McCray scored 16 of her 24 in the second half as the host Jayhawks snapped a four-game skid. The Cyclones (19-7, 7-5 Big 12) shot 27 percent, had 12 turnovers and made 3 of 16 3s.

NO. 23 UVA 90, BC 70: Lyndra Littles and Monica Wright scored 27 each, and the host Cavaliers (21-8, 7-5 ACC) shot 61 percent (19-for-31) in the second half.

Florida State Seminoles women rally to beat Miami, move within a win of ACC title 02/22/09 [Last modified: Sunday, February 22, 2009 9:05pm]
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