GREENSBORO Haley Peters did a lot of damage early and Tricia Liston got it done late.
It all worked out well for No. 1 seed Duke, which held off a tough challenge from No. 4 seed Florida State to win 72-66 in the semifinals of the ACC womens basketball tournament on Saturday at Greensboro Coliseum.
The win propelled the Blue Devils, 29-2 and ranked No. 6, into Sundays 2 p.m. championship game against North Carolina.
The No. 23 Seminoles (22-9), who lost the regular-season meeting with the Blue Devils 61-50 on Feb. 22 in Tallahassee, are assured of an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Peters finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the season. Liston also had 17 points, including a trio of 3-pointers and 6-for-6 shooting from the free-throw line.
Duke also got 12 points from freshman guard Alexis Jones and 11 from Elizabeth Williams.
I thought it was a great basketball game, Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. It was very physical and exciting. Florida State is an excellent team. They had a lot of different players we had to slow down, and we did that at critical junctures.
Both Haley and Tricia were fantastic that way in terms of moving the basketball, taking care of it and getting it in the right places as well as attacking (the basket) themselves.
Chelsea Davis led Florida State with 17 points while Alexa Deluzio and Natasha Howard added 13 apiece.
What a battle that was, Seminoles coach Sue Semrau said.
Were a little bit more slight in stature than some of the teams in the ACC. (But) credit Duke and their strength. They have great strength. And when you have the ability to use that, and they do, I would use that too. Its a great advantage.
Duke shot 46.0 percent compared to 37.9 for the Seminoles and outrebounded Florida State 43-32. The Blue Devils committed 17 turnovers to Florida States 12.
Both teams beat rivals to get to the semifinals. Duke ousted N.C. State 79-65 and Florida State topped Miami 70-58 in Fridays quarterfinals.
Peters scored only five points against the Wolfpack, but came out on fire Saturday with a run of nine straight to help her team to a 13-8 lead.
We moved the ball really well coming out of the gates and we pushed the ball down the floor well, Peters said. We were cutting and moving well.
Florida State tied the game twice in the final six minutes, the latter on a Deluzio 3-pointer that knotted the score at 58 with 4:39 left.
But Liston answered with a 3-pointer 17 seconds later, then in the final minute and hit a pair of free throws to extend Dukes lead to eight.