February 7, 2002 - by
FSU Can’t Make It Two Straight Over Duke, 80-49

Feb. 7, 2002

Box Score

AP Sports Writer

DURHAM, N.C. – After its worst half of the season, No. 1 Duke just went with the flow.

Mike Dunleavy scored 20 points, Dahntay Jones added 18 and the Blue Devils shot 60 percent in the second half to get revenge on Florida State with an 80-49 victory Thursday night.

Many believed the Blue Devils (21-1, 9-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) would roll over a team that gave them their only loss a month ago. But that was far from the case as the Seminoles (10-11, 3-7) made Duke look more like an NCAA tournament bubble team than contender to defend its national title most of the night.

Then came a closing 36-11 run.

“We figured out we were just going to have to play by instinct,” Dunleavy said. “We ran in transition and when we didn’t have something we pulled it out and made plays.

“We didn’t run one play in the second half, and that was the difference,” Dunleavy added. “For the first time all year on offense we were taken back by how we couldn’t score. But we settled down and got it done.”

One Florida State fan even brought a broom to Cameron Indoor Stadium in case the Seminoles knocked off the nation’s top team for the second time. But that may have been asking too much from a .500 club that shot 29 percent in the second half.

“I told our guys that Duke comes at you for 40 minutes and you’ve got to be able to attack back, and when you attack back you’ve got to score,” Florida State coach Steve Robinson said. “If you don’t score they can put such a barrage on you.”

Duke, which won its ninth straight by double figures since the 77-76 road loss on Jan. 6, got its first 10-point lead with 13:57 left.

Then the Blue Devils got some additional breathing room minutes later as Dunleavy hit a baseline jumper, a 3-pointer and a driving slam in a 12-0 run for a 56-38 lead and the rout was on.

“Guys found holes in the defense and kicked it out to me,” Dunleavy said. “A lot of it was off transition stuff. I’m learning how to finish strong in there against those big guys.”

Florida State changed defenses and used its athletic ability to turn Duke’s powerful offense into a walking turnover. Many Duke players shook their heads and showed frustration as an offense that averages 91.5 points a game bogged down until the final run.

All-American guard Jason Williams had one of his worst shooting games of the season. The ACC scoring leader came in averaging 21.9, but had seven points on 3-for-13 shooting and Duke coughed it up 21 times.

That was nothing compared to Monte Cummings of Florida State, who averages a team-leading 15.6 points but was held to one point on 0-for-9 shooting.

Monte Cummings won’t be the first nor will he be the last guy who is a good scorer who comes in here and does not find the mark,” Robinson said.

Michael Joiner led the Seminoles with 13 points.

Duke’s outside game was also off. The Blue Devils hit 15 3-pointers against Florida State in the first meeting, but was 8-for-24 Thursday after starting 1-for-11.

Duke may have been too anxious to bury the Seminoles early, missing 12 of its first 13 shots as the nation’s top scoring offense managed just two points in the opening seven minutes.

“We wanted to come out and put that initial Duke blow on them that we’re used to and things just didn’t work our way,” Williams said. “I know I missed a lot of shots.”

The final 2{ minutes of the period was a reflection of Duke’s worst offensive half of the season.

Williams, Dunleavy and Chris Duhon all missed 3-pointers in a span of 15 seconds, and after a turnover, Jones and Williams had their shots blocked on Duke’s next two possessions.

The final possession for the Blue Devils made coach Mike Krzyzewski turn away in disgust as Duke worked for a final shot, only to have the 35-second shot clock run out on a half in which it shot 30.6 percent, including the 1-for-11 from beyond the arc, and committed 14 turnovers.

The only thing that saved Duke was Florida State wasn’t much better in the opening 20 minutes, shooting 33 percent while coughing it up 14 times en route to its season-high fourth straight loss and 12th in a row in Cameron.

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