Miami's 17-game winning streak halted by Florida State

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State coach Sue Semrau doesn't worry about turnovers too much.

Semrau's Seminoles (No. 16 ESPN/USA Today, No. 21 AP) defeated Miami (No. 22 ESPN/USA Today, No. 16 AP) 66-59 Monday despite 29 turnovers. And that wasn't even a season high.

"We had some mistakes," shrugged Semrau, adding "we continue to overcome them."

Earlier this season, Florida State defeated Alabama in a game it committed 30 turnovers and a week later defeated Auburn in a game they had 29 turnovers.

And as the Seminoles did in those two wins, they shot better and rebounded better to make up for the sloppy ballhandling.

"We outrebounded them by 20," Semrau said after the game, stretching slightly Florida State's 47-28 advantage on the boards. "We did what we had to do."

Natasha Howard and Alexa Deluzio scored 12 points apiece in snapping the cold-shooting Hurricanes 17-game winning streak. Miami's only other loss of the season was at Nebraska on Nov. 17.

Florida State (16-4, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) scored 16 of the first 20 points in the second half to open up a 50-38 advantage after the score was tied at 34 at halftime.

Miami (18-2, 4-1) climbed to within 60-57 in the last minute on a 3-point play by Riquna Williams, who was fouled after making a layup.

But Courtney Ward, who suffered through one of her toughest nights at Florida State, made three free throws and Cierra Bravard two in the final 46 seconds to seal the win.

Bravard finished with 11 points and nine rebounds in 18 minutes.

Shenise Johnson scored 21 points and Williams 18 for Miami (No. 22 ESPN/USA Today, No. 16 AP), which shot just 30.2 percent in the game. Williams' late layup was the only time she didn't miss in 14 shots in the second half when Miami shot just 21.6 percent on the way to its lowest scoring night of the year.

"They swarmed our two scorers," Miami coach Katie Meier said. "They didn't give us our first or second looks in our offenses. We didn't show a lot of maturity on that end."

Williams and Johnson, the ACC's top two scorers this season, spent the night trying to shake Deluzio and Christian Hunnicutt.

"We went into it knowing that our defense was going to win us the game," Deluzio said. "We made very few mental errors on matchups."

Florida State was up by 11 before a pair of free throws by Stefanie Yderstrom with 2:15 left ignited a an 11-3 Miami run that got the 'Canes to within three.

Duke (19-0, 5-0) is now the only unbeaten team in the league.

"This was one of those games where we could continue to stay in the front of the pack or we could fall to the middle of the pack," Semrau said. "It was huge for us to get that win."

Florida State dominated the rebounding by a 47-28 margin and shot 48.9 percent with its three double figure scorers good on 13 of 19 shots from the field.

Each team had a brief five point lead during the opening half which featured nine lead changes. Florida State played most of the first half without Bravard and Howard.

Bravard drew her second foul in the early going and played just seven minutes before halftime while Howard suffered a sprained right knee midway 10 minutes into the game that kept her out until early in the second half.

Chelsea Davis picked up the slack for the Seminoles with six points and five rebounds in the first half. Ward committed nine turnovers and hit just one of eight field goal tries.