Jan. 6, 2002
By BRENT KALLESTAD
Associated Press Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – That Florida State was the first team to beat Duke this season was a big surprise. That the top-ranked Blue Devils did themselves in with poor free throw shooting was a shock.
Monte Cummings scored with 7.4 seconds left as the Seminoles rallied from a four-point deficit in the final minute to beat Duke 77-76 Sunday, snapping the defending national champion’s 22-game winning streak and leaving Division I without an unbeaten team.
“It took every bit of the 40 minutes to get the win,” said Florida State coach Steve Robinson, whose team had a 13-point lead with 8 minutes to play. “Once we got behind I told them we’ve just got to make some shots.”
Duke (12-1, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) missed a chance for the win when Mike Dunleavy’s tip of a miss by Jason Williams rimmed out at the buzzer. But the Blue Devils had hurt themselves with the uncharacteristically poor free throw shooting, going 2-for-8 over the final 1:30 and only 7-for-19 in the game.
Williams entered the game shooting 69.1 percent from the line and Duke was shooting 69.3 percent as a team.
Florida State, which had pulled within 76-75 on Antwuan Dixon’s 3-pointer with 28 seconds left, went to Cummings – a 25-year-old Army veteran – for its final play.
“I was knocking them down in the second half, so I felt good about it,” said the 6-foot-4 Cummings, who got past Williams when he tried to draw a charge, then went baseline to the basket. “Somehow Jason got tangled up and it helped me get by him.”
The win was the first in 12 games against a top-ranked team for Florida State (8-5, 1-1), which held the lead throughout most of the second half.
“You always have in the back of your mind, ‘They’re going to come back, they’re going to come back,”‘ Florida State guard Delvon Arrington said. “We were on our heels, but we weren’t flatfooted.”
Williams, who was 8-of-12 from 3-point range and led all scorers with 26 points, missed six straight free throws in the final 5:40, including four over the final 1:24. The last two were with 20 seconds left and could have given the Blue Devils a three-point lead.
“I promise you the next time I’m in that situation I will make them,” Williams said. “Some of those things happen.”
Florida State, which lost games last month to American and Western Carolina, hadn’t beaten Duke since 1995 and gave Robinson his first win in 12 games against the Blue Devils.
“They played better than we did,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “We have a lot of work to do before we’re some great basketball team. We’re not one right now.”
The Seminoles went up 58-45 on a free throw by freshman Anthony Richardson with 8:39 left. Duke rallied quickly and caught up at 61-61 on Williams’ final 3-pointer with 5:40 remaining.
Duke took its first lead since 7-4 at 73-71 with 1:22 left on a basket by Carlos Boozer. It was Dunleavy’s 3-pointer with 59 seconds left that put Duke ahead 76-72.
Cummings finished with 16 points, while Arrington added 13 points and 10 assists. Michael Joiner had 12 points, while Richardson and Dixon each had 11. Arrington has 603 assists, surpassing Otto Petty as the school’s career leader.
Dunleavy, who was 5-for-15 from the field, finished with 14 points, while Boozer had 12 and Daniel Ewing 10.
Four Division I teams entered the weekend without a loss, but No. 4 Virginia, No. 5 Oklahoma State and No. 21 Miami all lost on Saturday.
Cincinnati now has the nation’s longest winning streak at 13 games.