GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Haley Peters had 17 points and 13 rebounds — including the go-ahead basket with 4:06 left — to help sixth-ranked Duke beat No. 23 Florida State 72-66 in Saturday’s Atlantic Coast Conference tournament semifinals.
Tricia Liston also scored 17 for the top-seeded Blue Devils (29-2), who never trailed yet had a tough fight all day with the fourth-seeded Seminoles (22-9). The teams were tied with about 5 minutes left before Peters’ stickback started Duke’s go-ahead push.
Peters, a 6-foot-3 junior, had a huge performance after managing just five points and three rebounds in Friday’s quarterfinals against North Carolina State. She finished 8-for-14 from the floor and had six offensive rebounds against FSU, part of Duke’s domination on the glass.
Chelsea Davis scored 17 points to lead Florida State, which was in the semifinals for only the third time in program history. All three runs have ended with losses to Duke.
Duke advanced to Sunday’s championship game for the 11th time in 14 seasons. The Blue Devils will face the winner of Saturday’s second semifinal between No. 15 North Carolina and No. 10 Maryland.
Duke freshman Alexis Jones also came up big late in the game, finding Richa Jackson for a layup with a zip pass to the baseline then scoring her own layup off a turnover.
Liston followed with two free throws for a 68-60 lead with 45.7 seconds left that all but sealed it.
Duke has won seven straight meetings against the Seminoles, who haven’t beaten the Blue Devils since January 2009.
FSU trailed all day, including 9-0 at the start, before fighting back to tie the game at 55 on two free throws by Morgan Toles with 5:18 left. That set up a tight run to the finish — Liston and Alexa Deluzio even traded 3s on the ensuing possessions — but Duke kept coming up with the tough baskets to maintain its grasp on the game.
The Blue Devils shot 46 percent but did their best work on the glass, taking a 43-32 rebounding advantage and finishing with 17 second-chance points.
That at least offset their 17 turnovers that the Seminoles converted into 17 points, too.
Florida State shot 38 percent and 6-for-17 from 3-point range.
Duke beat Florida State 61-50 at home on Feb. 22 in the only regular-season meeting. It was the Blue Devils’ first game following the season-ending knee injury to league co-player of the year Chelsea Gray.
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