TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Senior Alexa Deluzio tallied her first career double-double on Sunday at the Donald L. Tucker Center to lead the No. 21-ranked Florida State women’s basketball team to a 76-70 ACC-opening victory over Boston College.
In the Seminoles’ last meeting against the Eagles, Deluzio carried FSU to a 68-59 victory in Chestnut Hill on Jan. 19, 2012 by scoring a career-best 28 points and making six three pointers.
On Sunday, Deluzio didn’t hit a three, but instead did her damage in the paint, ripping down a career-best 12 rebounds to go along with 25 points. She also dished six assists in a dominating effort.
“Her confidence jumpstarted everything we did today,” head coach Sue Semrau said about the fifth-year senior guard. “We needed her to be a rebounder today as we didn’t do a very good job in that category. I felt like we were a little rusty. I’m proud of the way the team grinded the game out towards the end when Boston College made their run. It was a good win for us.”
Boston College guard Kerri Shields hit her fifth three to bring BC within 2, 68-66, with 3:42 remaining.
After BC center Katie Zenevitch made a layup to keep the Eagles within 2, 72-70, senior guard Morgan Toles drilled a 12-foot jumper with 40 seconds remaining in the game.
Boston College turned the ball over 10 seconds later when junior forward Natasha Howard ripped the ball away from Eagles’ point guard Tessah Holt. Howard passed the ball ahead to Deluzio, who was fouled and fittingly iced the game with a pair of free throws that put the Seminoles in front, 76-70, with 21 seconds left.
“I just go out and play,” Deluzio said. “That’s what everyone on this team does. Nobody is trying to get a double-double or score 25 points. It just happens when everybody plays their role.”
Howard also recorded a double-double – with 12 points and 10 rebounds – despite battling foul trouble the entire game.
Howard and starting center Chelsea Davis each picked up two early fouls and Florida State spent much of the first half playing “small ball,” often without a player over 6-0 on the floor. Howard had four early points and four boards, but logged just seven minutes before the break. Davis played just two minutes in the first half.
Still, the Seminoles built up an early lead thanks to the play of Deluzio. The Seminoles made 12 of their first 20 field goal attempts and Deluzio scored 14 before halftime. With Howard and Davis on the bench, the 5-11 Orlando, Fla., native played much of the first half in the post and also grabbed seven rebounds in the first 20 minutes.
A jumper by senior guard Leonor Rodriguez (14 points) made the score 27-13 with 6:45 remaining in the first half. However, the Eagles fought back as their three-point attempts starting falling. Shields buried a pair from long range in the last 2:23 of the first half. Her second trey made the score 34-28 and FSU clung to a 37-30 lead at the break.
Shields (17 points, five treys) and Nicole Boudreau (14 points, four treys) kept Boston College (6-5 overall record) in the game in the second half. The Eagles made five of their first seven long-range attempts after halftime and battled back from an 11-point deficit to come within 2 on Shields’ big trey with just under four minutes left.
Toles finished with a season-high nine points to go along with six assists, two steals and just one turnover in 34 minutes for a Seminole squad that improved to 11-1 and won its sixth ACC opener in seven years.
Florida State heads on the road to take on Georgia Tech in Atlanta on Thursday at 7 p.m. before facing Maryland in College Park, Md. at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 6. The contest against the Yellow Jackets will air live on ESPN3, while the matchup with the Terrapins will be broadcast on ESPNU.