- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 21, 2009

DULUTH, GA. (AP) - Florida State was supposed to be too big for North Carolina A&T.;

Instead, it was the Seminoles’ depth that finally made the difference.

Alysha Harvin scored 18 points to lead five players in double figures and Florida State pulled away to beat North Carolina A&T; 83-71 Saturday in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Tanae Davis-Cain added 16 points for the third-seeded Seminoles (26-7), who will face Arizona State on Monday night. Arizona State beat Georgia 58-47.

North Carolina A&T; (26-7) trailed only 51-48 about 7 minutes into the second half and finished with a 33-30 edge in rebounds. The Aggies, who appeared to tire in the second half, lacked the depth to keep up with Florida State.

Ta’Wuana Cook, a 5-foot-8 guard, had 19 points to lead the Aggies. Lamona Smalley had 14 and Jaleesa Sams and Amber Bland each added 13.

North Carolina A&T;’s No. 14 seed is the highest ever for a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference school. The Aggies were a No. 16 seed in 1994, their only previous NCAA appearance, when they were overwhelmed in a 111-37 loss to Tennessee.

The Aggies showed early this would not be another lopsided loss.

Florida State led 40-31 at halftime and couldn’t stretch the lead in the opening minutes of the second half. Instead, Brittanie Taylor-James’ 3-pointer, followed by Smalley’s basket with 13:28 remaining, cut the lead to 51-48.

Florida State answered with seven straight points, including a 3 by Harvin. The Seminoles pushed the advantage to double digits for good in the final 7 minutes.

Florida State needs to beat Arizona State Monday night to advance to the round of 16 for only the second time in school history. The Seminoles made it that far in 2007, then lost to LSU.

The No. 3 seed is the highest in Florida State’s history.

Mara Freshour, who tied a school record by playing in the 130th game of her career, had 14 points for Florida State. Two 6-foot-4 players, Cierra Bravard and Jacinta Monroe, each had 11 points for the Seminoles.

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