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March 4, 2011
GREENSBORO, NC - The sixth-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels advanced to the semifinals of the ACC Women's Basketball Tournament with a 78-65 victory over the third-seeded Florida State Seminoles Friday night in the Greensboro Coliseum.
After trailing by 15 at halftime, the Seminoles used a 12-1 run to pull to within one with nine minutes remaining. But they could do no more. Florida State did not make a field goal in the game's final 10 minutes and 52 seconds as the Tar Heels advanced to the tournament semifinals for the ninth time in the last 10 years.
"We just wanted to keep our mentality," said Italee Lucas, who had 13 points and seven rebounds for the Tar Heels. "We have two more games left and we want to go into them with the focus and the fight we had today."
Laura Broomfield posted her seventh double-double of the year with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Jessica Breland and Cetera DeGraffenreid added 12 and 11 points, respectively, for the Tar Heels.
Cierra Bravard notched her eighth double-double of the year with 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Seminoles. Courtney Ward added 11 points and Alex Deluzio scored 10 in the losing effort.
"I thought we got really good shots," FSU coach Sue Semrau said. "We hit a bunch to close the gap. I think our legs were tired with (Natasha Howard) in foul trouble, but that's part of the game."
The teams combined for a tournament-record 56 free throws, led by Bravard's 12-for-15 performance.
No. 19 North Carolina (24-7) will face second-seeded and 10th-ranked Miami (27-3) Saturday at 3:30 p.m. The 14th-ranked Seminoles will next play in the NCAA Tournament.
Game 8 Notes:
North Carolina held Florida State without a field goal for the final 10:52 of the game.
North Carolina is 53-24 all-time in the ACC Tournament. The Tar Heels have the most tournament wins, and Maryland is second with 46. A No. 6 seed has won five of its last six games in the tournament, including NC State's run to the final last year.
North Carolina leads the series against Florida State 29-9, including victories in 12 of the last 15 meetings. North Carolina won the teams' lone meeting of the regular season, 84-75 in Tallahassee, Fla. Friday's game was just the second tournament meeting between the teams. UNC won the first one, in 1992, Florida State's first year in the league.
Florida State has played in 20 ACC Tournaments. The Seminoles' record in the tournament is 6-20. Under coach Sue Semrau, the Seminoles are 5-14. Florida State has lost three consecutive games in the tournament dating to the 2009 semifinals. Both previous losses came as the No. 2 seed.
North Carolina advances to the semifinals to take on No. 2 seed Miami at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. North Carolina and Miami played once this season, a 78-66 victory by the Hurricanes in Chapel Hill on Feb. 13.
Junior post player Cierra Bravard led Florida State with 20 points and 12 rebounds. It was her eighth double-double of the year. Bravard's points were four off her season high and five off her career high, set in November 2008, her freshman season.
The teams combined for a tournament record of 56 free throws made. The previous record was 53 established three times, most recently in 1997.