Devils Hold Off Florida State 79-66

Duke opened the ACC season with a tough victory over the Florida State Seminoles on a record setting night for senior Alana Beard as the Devils won 79-66.

Duke had little time to enjoy its elevation to the top spot in The Associated Press poll.

Alana Beard had 19 points to set a school scoring record, and Duke extended its streak of Atlantic Coast Conference victories to 45 by beating Florida State 79-66 Monday night in its first game as the nation's top-ranked team.

"It might have been nice to take some time to enjoy things," Duke coach Gail Goestenkors said. "But I was already watching tape of Florida State on the plane flight back home."

Mistie Bass added 11 points and Monique Currie 10 for Duke (11-1, 2-0), which took over the No. 1 spot Monday as a result of its victory 48 hours earlier over then-top-ranked Connecticut. The win was Duke's 11th straight since its season-opening loss to then-No. 3 Texas.

Goestenkors wanted to ensure her Blue Devils wouldn't take Florida State lightly.

"We talked with the players about making sure we showed respect for our opponents," she said. "I thought we did that for the first 20 minutes tonight."

Goestenkors said her Blue Devils learned a good lesson about milestones and rankings last season, when they extended their string of ACC wins and were No. 1 for a while, only to fall to UConn during the regular season and then losing in the Final Four.

"We were No. 1 long enough last year to understand that it really doesn't mean anything," Goestenkors said.

Beard surpassed the previous mark of 2,232 career points by Chris Moreland (1985-89) with a putback of her own miss with 13:08 left in the first half. Beard finished the game with 2,248 points.

Beard's total moved her into third place all-time among ACC women behind Clemson's Barbara Kennedy (3,113) and North Carolina State's Linda Page (2,307).

"It's an honor, but this is really no time for a celebration," Beard said. "All that will come at the end of our season."

Shante Williams led Florida State (7-6, 0-2) with 18 points, and Tasheika Allen had 16. Genesis Choice added 10 points for the Seminoles, who lost for the third time in four games.

Beard had 12 points in the first half to pace Duke to a 41-23 lead at the break. Beard, Jessica Foley and Vicki Krapohl made 3-point baskets in the game's first 9:08 to help Duke start with a 22-8 lead.

The Blue Devils used runs of 9-2 and 11-0 in the opening 8:03 of the second half to build a 64-34 lead.

The Seminoles never got a point off their fast break in the first half.

"This was as a good a time as any to play them," . You might have thought they could come out a little flat" after the UConn win, Florida State coach Sue Semrau said. "Instead, they came out really strong."

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