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Bales' 15 help No. 1 Duke beat FSU, remain unbeaten

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Top-ranked Duke is showing it can maintain its focus on the road.

Alison Bales scored 15 points and Carrem Gay added 14 to help the top-ranked Blue Devils stay unbeaten with a 73-60 victory over Florida State on Thursday night. The Blue Devils' third straight road win was the program's 600th victory overall.

Duke (21-0, 6-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), off to its best start ever, showed no signs of a letdown after Monday's 74-70 win at fourth-ranked Tennessee, pulling away from the Seminoles late in the first half. The Blue Devils and No. 2 North Carolina are tied for the ACC lead.

"Sometimes you just have to grind games out," Duke coach Gail Goestenkors said. "You can't be as emotionally up for every single game, it's just not possible."

Gay, who also contributed eight rebounds for Duke, scored a pair of baskets in the final 2:13 of the first half to spark an 8-1 run after Florida State closed to 28-27 on Britany Miller's 3-point play.

The 6-foot-7 Bales added nine rebounds and five blocked shots, and Gay scored 12 first-half points in leading the Blue Devils a 36-28 lead at the break.

"Carrem had a really nice night," Goestenkors said. "She did a great job taking the ball to the basket."

Duke led by as many as 17 at 51-34 on Joy Cheek's layup that capped a 13-2 run with 13:33 left. The Blue Devils enjoyed a double-digit advantage the rest of the game and finished with five players in double figures.

"The games you're not as emotional about you need to generate your intensity, your focus," Goestenkors said. "It's exciting to know that we can do what is necessary to win."

Abby Waner, whose 3-point basket gave Duke the lead for keeps at 9-6 just 6 minutes into the game, finished with 13 points. Wanisha Smith added 12 points and Lindsey Harding 10.

Alicia Gladden led the Seminoles (15-5, 4-1) with 17 points and Miller added 14.

"There were a lot of positives for us in this basketball game," Florida State coach Sue Semrau said.

The Blue Devils hit 42.1 percent from the floor, but converted 20 of 26 free throws. Florida State was 8-of-12 at the line and shot 34.2 percent from the field, including a woeful 2-of-13 from 3-point distance.

"I don't know if you can win a basketball game when you get to the line 12 times and the other team gets there 26," Semrau said. "That's a tough, tough thing to overcome."

After three straight road tests, the top-ranked Blue Devils return home to play Virginia Tech on Monday. Florida State hosts Virginia on Sunday.