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Elizabeth Williams
Courtesy: Associated Press
Elizabeth Williams
No. 3 Duke Outlasts No. 24 Florida State 85-77 in OT
Sunday 01/23/2014  -  Associated Press
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- No. 3 Duke took the best punch No. 24 Florida State had on Thursday night and seemed to be in trouble midway through the second half. The Blue Devils trailed by eight and the Seminoles' Natasha Howard was in the midst of a career-night.

Tricia Liston and Elizabeth Williams, however, wouldn't allow Duke to suffer its second loss of the season.

Liston scored 25 points and Williams had 20 as the Blue Devils needed overtime to beat the Seminoles 85-77

"I love this team, this team fights," Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. "For a while there I'm not sure we were totally into it but we felt we should've been doing better.

"But then all of sudden you could see it, this is what it is."

The Blue Devils (19-1, 6-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) used an 11-0 run to rally from a four-point deficit in regulation and score the first seven points in overtime. Alex Jones hit a step-back jumper to tie the game at 73 and force overtime.

Liston finished with four 3-pointers after scoring just four points in the first half. Williams added seven rebounds and six blocks.

The Seminoles (14-5, 2-4) wasted a career night from Howard -- 28 points and 21 rebounds with five blocks. The 20-20 game was the first for a Florida State player since 2006. Morgan Jones scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Brittany Brown added 12 points in the loss points.

"She was incredible, she wouldn't be denied," Florida State coach Sue Semrau said. "She never cowered. I thought her character was absolutely amazing.

"They know what Tasha can do and she did it anyway. I haven't seen a performance like that in a long time."

Florida State seemed poised for the upset after taking a 59-51 lead with 10:55 left as Howard dominated. She was 3 for 8 from the field in the first half and went 11 for 13 after halftime. But as Howard rebounded from a rough first half, so did Liston. The Blue Devils' leader went 6 for 9 from the field after the opening 20 minutes and scored 21 points.

Duke was outrebounded 51-42, but Florida State shot just two free throws all game. The Blue Devils shot 49.3 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from long-range.

Jones tied a Duke record with 15 assists in the school's first overtime game since 2009.

"I think today was really great for us," Liston said. "There was a point where we all looked at each other and said we got to get going we have to come together right now and start getting our stops and took it down on offense and momentum was there.

"This was a really good one for us because in the tournament and the ACC tournament it's not always going to be pretty everything is not going to be going your way but it is the way that you finish the game that counts"

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