By BRENT KALLESTAD
Associated Press Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Duke just brings out the best in Florida State.
For the second straight year, the struggling Seminoles upset Duke at home and moved out of the Atlantic Coast Conference cellar, pushing the fifth-ranked Blue Devils two games behind first-place Maryland with a 75-70 victory Sunday night.
Adam Waleskowski sandwiched a left-handed hook and a dunk around two free throws by Tim Pickett in the final 18 seconds as Florida State handed the Blue Devils their third straight conference road loss.
“Our guys made big shots and big plays at the end,” first-year Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said.
“We want this to be a regular occurrence,” Hamilton said. “We don’t want to storm the floor just because we beat someone we’re not supposed to.”
Last season, the Seminoles, under coach Steve Robinson, shocked then-No. 1 Duke with a 77-76 victory that ended the defending national champions’ 22-game winning streak.
Shooting was pretty much the story of Sunday’s game.
Florida State (11-8, 2-6 ACC) shot 60 percent from the field and limited Duke (14-3, 4-3) to just 34.7 percent.
“Hopefully this will give us enough confidence to continue to keep playing this way.”
Coach Leonard Hamilton
“We missed shots that we’ve hit a lot of times,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “We could never get the lead.”
Dahntay Jones, Duke’s leading scorer entering the game at 17.6 points per game, finished with a season-low two points and fouled out with 1:42 remaining. He was 1-of-10 from the field and missed two free throws.
“The guy’s going to have a bad night occasionally,” Hamilton said. “That happens sometimes.”
Jones had reached double figures in 14 consecutive games, which was the third-longest streak among ACC players before Sunday.
Duke pulled within 71-70 with 10 seconds left on a 3-pointer by Daniel Ewing, but immediately fouled on the inbounds pass.
Pickett’s two free throws gave Florida State a 73-70 lead with 9.9 seconds left and Duke raced down the court looking for a tying 3-point shot, but Chris Duhon slipped and fell in front of the Blue Devils bench, losing the ball with 6 seconds left and leading to the game-ending dunk by Waleskowski.
“They just knocked us back,” Krzyzewski said. “Our defense could not stop their offense. They were not going to be denied.”
Pickett had 15 points, nine rebounds and four assists for Florida State, which made nine of its last 10 free throws.
Freshman J.J. Redick led Duke with 16 points and Nick Horvath added 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Florida State led by 11 points twice in the second half, the last time with 15:36 left on a jumper by Anthony Richardson, who finished with 14 points.
Duke responded with a 12-1 run over the next five minutes, tying the game on a layup by Daniel Ewing with 11:33 remaining. But the Seminoles came right back with seven straight points, taking a 56-49 lead on Nate Johnson’s 3-pointer with 8:35 remaining.
Duke rallied again and tied the game at 56 when Lee Melchionni connected on a 3-pointer with 6:48 left. The Blue Devils, though, never reclaimed the lead.
Florida State freshman guard Todd Galloway had 13 points, including two free throws with 57 seconds left that gave Florida State a 69-65 lead.
“Hopefully this will give us enough confidence to continue to keep playing this way,” Hamilton said.