• 64°

College Basketball: Florida State 68, Duke 67

By Joedy McCreary

Associated Press

DURHAM — Florida State’s players celebrated their game-sealing defensive stop by cutting loose, whooping it up in front of those famously rowdy Cameron Crazies.

After 15 straight losses on Duke’s fabled home floor, the Seminoles finally had a reason to party.

Al Thornton scored 21 points and Florida State stopped Duke cold in the final minute to seal a 68-67 victory over the eighth-ranked Blue Devils on Sunday.

And after the Seminoles’ first victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium, the players danced and celebrated in front of Duke’s notoriously noisy student section.

“That was just a little excitement. We went over there and showed them a little love,” Thornton said. “I think we overdid it, but we apologize, though, that we did all that.”

Toney Douglas added 15 points and Uche Echefu had 12 for the Seminoles (17-6, 5-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), who overcame a 17-point deficit to win their third straight and avenge a tough loss here last year.

“Duke has set a benchmark, and they set the bar awful high,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. “All the teams, especially the ones that are trying to become programs of significance, Duke has set a standard that most of us are being judged by.

“So to get a win here against a very good Duke team that’s nationally ranked does a lot for your players’ confidence and the morale of your program. But in order for this to be meaningful, we need to continue winning games.”

Duke had two late chances after David McClure rebounded Douglas’ miss with about 30 seconds left. The Blue Devils brought it downcourt and called timeout with 7.7 seconds left to set up their final play. DeMarcus Nelson inbounded the ball to Greg Paulus, and he missed a layup.

“We had to make them make tough shots, even though they had some point-blank looks they kind of missed,” Thornton said. “Overall, we had to make them make some tough shots.”

A jump ball was called on the rebound, and the possession arrow pointed toward Duke. Josh McRoberts took the inbounds pass in the lane with about 2 seconds left, and his floater rimmed out. Nelson’s putback attempt bounced off the rim as time expired.

“Josh is usually the main read on that, and I trust Josh with the game on the line,” Paulus said.

Paulus finished with a career-high 23 points for Duke (18-5, 5-4), which has lost two straight in the final seconds and now must beat rival North Carolina on Wednesday to avoid their first three-game losing streak since 1999 — when the Blue Devils lost their last game of the 1998-99 season and dropped their first two in 1999-00.

“We’ve lost a couple in a row, and no matter who it is, we’re going to be ready to play,” Paulus said.

Nelson scored 14 points and McRoberts added 12 for Duke, which held Florida State scoreless over the final 3:18 but couldn’t hit the big shot in the final moments.

The Seminoles opened up a six-point lead with about 3 minutes remaining when Ryan Reid’s layup made it 68-62 before Duke rallied.

Nelson hit a jumper, and Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton was whistled for a technical foul. Jon Scheyer made both free throws to pull Duke within one point with 2:31 left, but the Blue Devils got no closer.

It was delicious revenge for Florida State, which lost by one point in overtime in their last visit here, a bitter loss marked by critical technical foul mistakenly assessed to the Seminoles’ Alexander Johnson. Still, in that game they led by two in the extra session before fading under the sharp shooting of J.J. Redick and physical presence of Shelden Williams.

The way the Blue Devils shot early, it appeared the Seminoles were headed for their 16th consecutive loss here. Duke burst out to a 27-10 lead midway through the first half behind 12 points from Paulus.

“Duke was having their way with us,” Hamilton said.

But the Seminoles countered with a 23-8 run and held the Blue Devils to one field goal in 71/2 minutes and closed to 35-33 on Echefu’s 3-pointer from the key with 1:23 before halftime. They took their first lead on Thornton’s layup 65 seconds into the second half.

“When two good teams play, if one team spurts a little bit, usually the other team will spurt back,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “We played better than them for eight minutes, and then they played better than us for eight minutes.”

*

NOTE: At halftime Duke retired the No. 4 jersey worn by Redick, the leading scorer in school and ACC history.

Comments

Comments closed.

Crime

Blotter: Man brandishes AR-15, runs over motorcycle at Rockwell-area gas station

Crime

Salisbury man charged with exploitation of minor

Crime

Road rage incident results in assault charges

Local

Dukeville lead testing results trickle in, more participation needed

Education

Faith Academy interviewing staff, preparing site for fall opening

News

Volunteers work around obstacles, alter procedures to offer free tax services to those in need

Education

Education shoutouts

Local

Retired Marine gets recognition for toy collection efforts

Local

March issue of Salisbury the Magazine is now available

Education

Five get Dunbar School Heritage Scholarships

Education

Education briefs: Salisbury Academy fourth-graders think big as inventors

Education

Bakari Sellers keynote speaker at Livingstone College Founder’s Day program

Nation/World

Biden aims to distribute masks to millions in ‘equity’ push

Nation/World

Chief: Capitol Police were warned of violence before riot

Nation/World

GOP rallies solidly against Democrats’ virus relief package

Nation/World

FDA says single-dose shot from Johnson & Johnson prevents severe COVID

High School

Coaches, lawmakers react to governor’s order expanding sporting event capacity

Coronavirus

Three new COVID-19 deaths, positives remain below triple digits

BREAKING NEWS

Gov. Cooper announces end to curfew, changes to restrictions affecting bars, high school sports

Crime

Blotter: Two charged after call about package

Crime

Salisbury Police investigating two shootings

Crime

Chase involving Kernersville man ends in woods behind Carson High School

News Main

North Rowan girls end season with playoff loss to Murphy

Education

Rowan-Salisbury EC department plunges in place after raising $1,300 for Special Olympics