7:00 PM ET, February 19, 2009
CLEMSON, S.C. -- Jacinta Monroe had a career-high 24 points and nine rebounds to lead Florida State (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today, No. 11 AP) to a 75-58 win over Clemson on Thursday night.The Seminoles (22-5, 10-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) remain a game up on Maryland and Duke for first place in the conference with three games to go. Florida State has never won a league title.Monroe was coming off her worst game of the year as a sore shoulder limited her to just five points in 23 minutes against North Carolina. Against the Lady Tigers, the junior made nine of her 12 shots from the field and 6-of-11 free throws in 26 minutes.Tanae Davis-Cain scored 13 points and Alysha Harvin added 10 points and eight rebounds for Florida State.Lele Hardy had 21 points and eight rebounds for Clemson (13-14, 2-10), and Sthefany Thomas added 12 points.Clemson opened the second half with a jumper by Thomas that cut Florida State's lead to 35-32. But the Seminoles responded with nine straight points from Monroe and Mara Freshour. They also forced turnovers on six of the Lady Tigers' next seven possessions.Clemson stopped the run briefly, but Freshour and Harvin hit back-to-back 3-pointers to spark a 17-4 run that put the game away.The Seminoles' No. 11 ranking is the highest in school history, and they tied a school record Thursday with their 10th ACC win.In 18 ACC seasons, Florida State has never finished better than tied for third. The Seminoles can earn at least a tie for the regular season crown by winning two of their last three against Miami, Virginia and Wake Forest. Florida State has already beaten the Cavaliers and Hurricanes this season.After missing four 3-pointers in the first 5 minutes, the Seminoles started pounding the ball inside, and Clemson couldn't stop fouling. Florida State shot 34 free throws to just 14 foul shots for the Lady Tigers, picking up 15 extra points from the line. At one point in the second half, Monroe was fouled by Thomas immediately after sinking a foul shot.Monroe also blocked a shot, tying the school record for blocked shots in a career at 209.The Lady Tigers will have to win two of their last three to finish over .500 for the first time in five seasons and are just a game out of last place in the ACC.