TALLAHASSEE — Florida State senior point guard Courtney Ward had been struggling with her shot to start the season but not Sunday afternoon against perennial SEC power Vanderbilt.
Ward scored a career-high 31, offsetting the foul trouble that limited her frontcourt players and carrying the No. 16 Seminoles to a 72-66 win against the No. 23 Commodores.
"We talk about being selfless, and in order to be a great basketball team we're going to have to be selfless, and it's very selfless when you can put tough games behind you and come out and just play your game,'' FSU coach Sue Semrau said. "And Courtney obviously did that. Her focus was tremendous.''
Ward hit 9 of 12 field goals, including 7 of 9 3-pointers, after making just 4 of 22 and 2 of 13 in her previous three games combined.
"I guess I was just feeling it more,'' she said.
With FSU (4-0) clinging to a 63-61 lead, Ward made her career-best seventh 3-pointer with 2:09 left then scored her team's final six on free throws to seal the win against Vanderbilt (2-1).
"I'm disappointed in not knowing where she was and leaving her wide open,'' Vanderbilt coach Melanie Balcomb said. "We talked about it at halftime, making her put the ball on the floor and not leaving her wide open. We tried a lot of different defenses. We struggled in man so we played a lot of zone and every time we felt like we needed to go to zone, she was the one who obviously was left wide open, and she knocked them down. She had a great game.''
UConn ties mark
ATLANTA — Maya Moore wanted to treat it like just another game, and for the most part it was. Another outstanding performance. Another Connecticut win.
Moore didn't truly savor her homecoming until she came off the court with less than a minute left. Looking up at family and friends, she clapped for them.
Moore scored 30 in her return to Atlanta, leading No. 1 UConn to its 81st straight victory, 71-51 over Georgia Tech. The Huskies (3-0) tied Washington University, a Division III school, for the most consecutive wins by a woman's program at any level.
"I felt their support," Moore said in the city where she developed her game. "It's always good to know you have fans all over the country, but especially to be back here in Georgia. This was familiar territory. It felt good."
NO. 3 STANFORD 84, GONZAGA 78: Nnemkadi Ogwumike had 21 points and 14 rebounds for the visiting Cardinal (3-0), and Jeanette Pohlen hit consecutive 3-pointers during a 9-0 run that broke a tie at 68.
NO. 4 TENN. 80, ARIZ. ST. 64: Shekinna Stricklen had 18 points for the host Vols (4-0), who turned 11 first-half Sun Devils turnovers into 12 points.
NO. 6 DUKE 82, W. KY. 55: Freshman Haley Peters had a season-high 17 points for the host Blue Devils (4-0), who had their most points and biggest victory margin of the season.
NO. 9 KENTUCKY 81, NO. 12 NOTRE DAME 76: Victoria Dunlap had 24 points for the Wildcats (3-0), who have won 20 straight at Memorial Coliseum. The Irish (2-2) couldn't overcome 17 turnovers.
NO. 14 UNC 93, W. CAROLINA 36: Italee Lucas had 16 points and Chay Shegog 14 for the host Tar Heels (4-0), who had first-half runs of 10-0, 11-0 and 15-0.
NO. 15 UCLA 65, UC DAVIS 49: Darxia Morris had 14 points and seven assists and Jasmine Dixon added 13 points to help the host Bruins (4-0) to their best start in 14 years.
NO. 17 TEXAS 92, BU 46: Chassidy Fussell had 20 points, Kathleen Nash added 12 points and 20 rebounds and four other players scored in double figures for the host Longhorns (3-0).
NO. 18 GEORGIA 84, INDIANA 51: Jasmine James scored 18 of her season-high 21 in the first half for the host Bulldogs (3-0), who scored the first seven of the game within 80 seconds.
NO. 19 IOWA ST. 69, N. IOWA 59: Freshman Hallie Christofferson had 19 points on her 19th birthday, and the visiting Cyclones (3-0) rallied.
NO. 21 MARYLAND 78, AMERICAN 52: Alyssa Thomas had 16 points and Lynetta Kizer added 12 to help the host Terrapins (3-1) give Brenda Frese her 200th victory as their coach.
NO. 22 IOWA 90, C. MICH. 79: Morgan Johnson had 21 points and Kachine Alexander added 20 points and 18 rebounds for the host Hawkeyes (5-0).
NO. 25 MICH. ST. 82, DETROIT-MERCY 42: Kalisha Keane and Porsche Poole had 16 points each and Keane hit four 3-pointers for the host Spartans (3-1).
Times staff writer Brian Landman contributed to this report.