Duke vs. Florida State score, takeaways: No. 7 Blue Devils edge No. 8 Seminoles in ACC showdown
Duke maintained its flair for the dramatic on Monday when it hosted conference foe Florida State
Duke's flair for the dramatic continued on Monday night. Just two days following the dramatic, overtime victory over arch-rival North Carolina, the No. 7 Blue Devils overcame a season-high tying 21 turnovers to hold off Florida State 70-65 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The No. 8 Seminoles (20-4, 10-3 ACC) entered with just two road wins over Duke in series history, the last coming in 2012. But Florida State gave Duke (21-3, 11-2) all it could handle as Trent Forrest racked up a career-high eight steals and led the way for Florida State with 18 points in the crushing loss.
Florida State could not get a stop when it mattered most, nor could it capitalize down the stretch as Duke's Matthew Hurt pulled down an offensive rebound with 11.7 seconds left and drew a foul with the Blue Devils leading 66-63. The freshman forward knocked down both free throws to help his team close out the game and claim sole possession of second place in the ACC standings.
The Noles entered as a projected No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament, according to CBS Sports Bracketology expert Jerry Palm. With a win, the Seminoles would have jumped to a No. 2 seed, swapping with the Blue Devils who currently hold that position. But with the Duke win, Palm projects that the Blue Devils will remain a No. 2 seed while Florida State holds firm as a No. 3 seed.
Let's have a look at some of the takeaways from Duke's pivotal conference victory over Florida State on Monday night.
1. Duke flashed its depth in the win: The Blue Devils used their 11th different starting lineup this season on Monday night by rolling out Tre Jones, Cassius Stanley, Wendell Moore Jr., Vernon Carey Jr. and Jordan Goldwire for the opening tip, and it looked like a group that could have some staying power. Duke jumped out to an 11-2 lead and also got nice contributions from ex-starters Hurt (12 points) and Alex O'Connell (seven points, four rebounds) off the bench. Goldwire rejoined the starting lineup after his streak of seven straight starts was broken against North Carolina, and the junior guard made all five of his shot attempts and tied Jones for a team-high 13 points after scoring just two points in his last three games combined.
2. Florida State still an impressive squad: The Seminoles' three ACC losses have come by a combined 12 points, and all of them have come on the road. First was a season-opening 63-61 defeat at Pittsburgh, then a 61-56 loss at Virginia on Jan. 28. Even after Monday's loss, FSU is still 5-4 overall in road games against Quadrant 1 and 2 teams (it is undefeated at home). In short, the Seminoles are not to be trifled with. They lack the star power of their top conference competitors Duke and Louisville, but as is typical of Florida State under storied coach Leonard Hamilton, the Seminoles have a deep cast of gritty contributors and are a team that looks plenty capable of making it to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament for a third consecutive year.
3. Shame there's no scheduled rematch: With Duke, Louisville and Florida State clearly separating themselves from the the rest of the ACC, it's a shame the Blue Devils and Seminoles only meet once in the regular season. The last five meetings between the teams -- all Duke victories -- have been decided by 10 points or less. But of the league's top three teams, Duke arguably has the easiest conference schedule because it only meets Louisville and Florida State once this season. Meanwhile, Florida State and Louisville will play for a second time on Monday, Feb. 24 as the Seminoles try and complete a season sweep of the Cardinals.
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