<
>

Seminoles hand Knights fourth straight loss

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Florida State knows what it means now that the Seminoles are in the top 10 of the women's poll for the first time.

"We've got a big old target on our backs now," senior Jacinta Monroe said after Florida State (No. 6 ESPN/USA Today, No. 10 AP) fought its way past a scrappy UCF team to win 70-58 on Wednesday.

Cierra Brevard had 12 points and six rebounds and Courtney Ward had 12 points and six assists and Angel Gray and Alexa Deluzio also scored 12 points apiece for the Seminoles (9-0), who won their 17th straight road game.

"We tell the girls that the rankings don't mean anything, but there's no doubt it means something to our opponent," Seminoles coach Sue Semrau said. "Give UCF credit, they really took it to us and we took awhile to get used to that."

Emma Cannon had 16 points and 15 rebounds for UCF (2-5). The Knights got 12 points from Jelisa Caldwell but lost their fourth straight.

Florida State shot 52 percent in the second half and limited UCF to 33.3 percent, breaking open what had been a close game for the first 20 minutes.

The Seminoles were playing their first game after a 10-day layoff for final exams were outrebounded for the first time this season, 40-34. They also turned the ball over 16 times.

"Ten days off equals rust and it took us awhile to shake off the rust," Semrau said. "We talked about it at halftime and finally got moving the second half, but we know we're better than what we played."

The Seminoles finished the first half with a 12-7 run to take 31-26 halftime lead. Deluzio stole a pass and beat the UCF defense down the court to score at the buzzer for a small cushion after an up-and-down performance kept things close.

In the second half, Florida State ran off nine straight points to go up 55-41 with 5:49 to play. Deluzio's driving layup finished off the run and UCF couldn't get the deficit under 10 until 50 seconds remained.

"We didn't make them pay for their mistakes," UCF coach Joi Williams said. "We got 23 offensive rebounds and forced enough turnovers, but we didn't make them pay for not boxing us out or turning the ball over. We've got to do that to play on their level."