GREENSBORO, N.C. — Abby Waner shook off a dreadful first 30 minutes to shake up Florida State the rest of the way, sparking third-seeded Duke to an 81-67 victory over the sixth-seeded Seminoles in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament Friday night.
The defeat leaves FSU (18-13) in wait-and-see mode for the NCAA Tournament. Coach Sue Semrau, for one, thinks the Seminoles have done enough to warrant an at-large bid.
"Look at our strength of schedule, our RPI, our 18 wins," she said. "We've overcome a lot; we've had 17 different starting lineups this year."
When it mattered Friday night, FSU had no answer for Waner. The senior guard missed all six of her shots in the first half, then exploded by scoring nine of her 14 in a five-minute stretch of the second half that saw the No. 12 Blue Devils go on a 16-0 run and take a 10-point lead, 68-58.
"She went on a 7-0 run by herself and then had the assist on the next basket," Semrau said. "She's a great player."
Any hopes FSU had of a comeback in the remaining six minutes were thwarted by Waner, this time with her passing. Five of her seven assists came in the stretch.
The Seminoles were impressive early, making six of their first nine shots — including all three 3-pointers — in building a 13-6 lead.
But once the Blue Devils began pressuring the length of the court, FSU seemed to lose its rhythm. An 11-4 run pulled Duke even at 17 near the 10-minute mark. The Seminoles eventually would trail by as many as five, though by halftime they trailed 36-35.
Chante Black led Duke with 20 points. Mara Freshour paced the Seminoles with 18 points, while Tanae Davis-Cain added 15 and Alysha Harvin 14.
No. 25 Va. 52, Ga. Tech 43: The fourth-seeded Cavaliers (23-8) ended the game on a 12-2 run, sparked by freshman Iasia Hemingway, who led the way with 17 points. The fifth-seeded Yellow Jackets (22-9) struggled offensively. Senior Janie Mitchell, who had 26 points in a double overtime loss at Virginia on Sunday, matched a season low with four points.
No. 2 N.C. 97, Clemson 77: The top-seeded Tar Heels (28-2), scored 52 first-half points in burying the No. 9 seed Tigers (12-19). Forward Erlana Larkins dominated, finishing with 25 points on 10 of 13 shooting for North Carolina, which had all five starters reach double figures.
Maryland 93, BC 81: Forward Crystal Langhorne, the conference's player of the year, scored 24 in back of teammate Laura Harper's 25 as the second-seeded Terrapins (30-2) breezed past the No. 7 seed Eagles (20-11). Guard Mickel Picco drained seven 3-pointers and scored 33 for Boston College, which trailed 48-29 at halftime.
USF: Junior guard Shantia Grace was named to the All-Big East second team. She is averaging 18.3 to lead the Bulls.
No. 18 UTEP 80, Rice 71: Jareica Hughes scored a game-high 33, helping the Miners avoid an upset in the Conference USA tournament quarterfinals in Orlando. No. 1-seeded UTEP, which extended a conference record 22-game winning streak, was down for more than half the game and took a 43-42 lead at 13:43 in the second half.
Ill. 64, No. 22 Ohio St. 58: Rebecca Harris scored 22, and the Illini beat the Buckeyes in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals in Indianapolis to knock the top seed out early. Lori Bjork scored 14 and Jenna Smith added 13 for ninth-seeded Illinois, which reached the semifinals for the first time since 2001.
No. 24 Marist 54, Canisius 44: Nikki Flores had 13 points and the Red Foxes overcame an off game from Rachele Fitz in the first round of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament in Albany, N.Y. Fitz, the conference player of the year, came in averaging 19 points but was held to 10 before fouling out with 52 seconds left.
Times wires contributed to this report.