ACC Basketball: Duke 66, Florida State 58

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 10, 2009

By Brent Kallestad
Associated PressTALLAHASSEE, Fla. ó Duke’s Gerald Henderson was just about the only player on target Saturday, and that was the difference for the Blue Devils.
The 6-foot-4 junior swingman scored a career-high 25 points, leading the second-ranked Blue Devils to a 66-58 victory at Florida State.
Duke (14-1, 2-0 ACC) ran off the first nine points of the second half during a 41-11 run to build their largest lead of the game, 46-21 with 12:45 left.
Toney Douglas led Florida State (13-3, 0-1) with 18 points, but was just 7-of-23 from the floor as the Seminoles shot just 31 percent.
“We struggled all night against their pressure,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. “We drove the ball hard into the lane, but couldn’t execute. We had periods where we just didn’t execute well offensively.”
The first half was believed to be one of the lowest scoring in the ACC since a 45-second shot clock was introduced in the 1985-86 season. It was later cut to 35 seconds.
Duke led 19-14 at the break, making just five field goals ó one on a goaltending call to go along with four baskets by Henderson. Florida State scored only four points in the final 13:07 of the half, going scoreless for 7 minutes, 58 seconds at one stretch.
In the second half, the Blue Devils went 7:14 without a basket until Henderson’s layup with 5:31 left gave Duke a 53-42 lead.
“His athletic ability to create shots was huge,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “When they (Florida State) got it down to 10 (points), toward the last 15 seconds on the (shot) clock, we got the ball to him four straight times and we scored.”
Derwin Kitchen scored 16 points and Uche Echefu 10 to get Florida State back into the game in the final minutes. Both players scored all of their points in the final 13 minutes as the Seminoles pulled to single digits, 51-42, with 6:03 left on a pair of free throws by Douglas.
Henderson’s 9-of-14 shooting helped Duke shoot 42.9 percent from the field. Kyle Singler chipped in with 15 points for the winners and Nolan Smith added a dozen more.
“When you go against height and a bigger team, you have to use your quickness,” Henderson said. “I was able to come from the wing and make plays in the lane, either the pull-up or get to the rack. That’s a strength to my game.”
Henderson didn’t have anything to prove to Hamilton.
“He made us pay every time we made a defensive mistake on him,” Hamilton said.
“He’s a smart, talented player,” Hamilton added. “And he had an exceptional game.”