Friday, February 24, 2012

ACC Thursday Night Basketball

DAWKINS (Phil Sears/AP Photo)
#5 DUKE 74, #15 FLORIDA STATE 66 -- Andre Dawkins scored 22 points and freshman Austin Rivers added 20 to lead the Blue Devils to a victory over Florida State 33 days after being upset by the Seminoles on their own court.

The win kept the Blue Devils (24-4, 11-2) tied with No. 7 North Carolina for first place in the ACC while Florida State (19-8, 10-3) dropped a game behind.  The Blue Devils and Tar Heels now control their own destiny -- if either win out (including the season ending rematch in Durham), they will be the regular season champion and well positioned for a high seed in the NCAA tournament. 

Duke showed once again that when they make threes they are hard to beat.  The Blue Devils made 13 of 28 from behind the arc outscoring the Seminoles on three pointers by a margin of 39 to 12.  The Noles were 4 for 12 from treyville. 

Game over.

While Florida State is one game shy of a 20-win season, they are far from polished. Last night they failed over and over to take advantage of opportunities that could have made this a closer game or even a win in spite of Duke’s superior three-point shooting.  FSU missed free throws, blew fast break opportunities and took woeful outside shots when they should have pounded the ball inside where both Plumlees were in foul trouble. 

Seminole coach Leonard Hamilton was visibly frustrated at times...

(Phil Sears/AP Photo)
Dawkins scored 18 points over the last 11:23 of the first half, going 5 of 7 from 3-point range as Duke took a 39-32 lead.  Ryan Kelly added 13 points and Miles Plumlee had 10 for Duke, which shot 42.3 percent from the field.

"We allowed them to do what they do best and knock down 3s," Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. "It was very difficult for us to get over the hump."

Michael Snaer had 18 points for the Seminoles, while Bernard James added 13 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots. Snaer, whose first of two buzzer-beating game-winning 3-pointers this season ended Duke's 45-game home winning streak last month, sat out the last 9:49 of the first half after drawing his second personal foul.

The Seminoles, who have never won an ACC title, beat Duke and North Carolina in January, but they never got a shot at any last-second heroics Thursday although they got within three points twice, the last at 61-58 with 4:17 left on a three-point play by James.

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