Florida State knocks off No. 2 Georgia Tech

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 19, 2009

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Courtney Ward and Jacinta Monroe were at the center of a game-ending 14-3 run, lifting Florida State to a 59-49 victory over No. 24 Georgia Tech on Sunday night.

Ward and Monroe combined for nine points over the final 5:13 as the Seminoles (16-4, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) erased their only deficit of the second half en route to their seventh consecutive victory.

The run started after Jacqua Williams’ 3-pointer with 5:54 gave the Yellow Jackets their first lead since the opening minutes of the game, 46-45.

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“I think they got a little mad that they took the lead that one possession,” FSU coach Sue Semrau said of her team. “I thought that they made things happen after that.”

The Seminoles regained the lead on two Monroe free throws, then gained some separation from the faltering Yellow Jackets (13-4, 1-2).

Ward followed teammate Angel Gray’s driving layup with two more of her own, then fed Monroe for a back door layup as FSU opened up a 55-47 advantage.

“They took the ball, put it on the floor and attacked the rim,” Georgia Tech coach MaChelle Joseph said.

Ward, who finished with 12 points and a career-high nine assists, confessed that the Seminoles were motivated by the deficit.

“At that point, it was our time to show them what we were all about and go ahead and knock them out of the way,” Ward said.

Monroe scored 15 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and set a single-game Florida State record with nine blocked shots. She was one block shy of the the first triple-double in school history. Mara Freshour added 13 points for the Seminoles, who share the ACC lead with North Carolina and Duke.

The Seminoles have not lost since pushing No. 1 Connecticut in an 83-71 defeat on Dec. 21. Their seven-game winning streak includes a road win at LSU and a 60-53 win over then-No. 3 Texas A&M.

“The confidence of this team is none like I’ve ever seen,” Monroe said. “We just refuse to be denied and we stay together.”

Defensively, the Seminoles forced 27 turnovers, which they converted into 34 points. Georgia Tech missed 15 of its final 20 shots from the floor.

Alex Montgomery led the Yellow Jackets with 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Williams added 12 points.