Shocker: Florida State topples No. 1 DukeJan 13, 2011 - 5:42 AM Tallahassee, FL (Sports Network) - For more than 10 months, losing was only a concept to Duke, a possibility.
Its 25-game winning streak included an ACC Championship Game win over Georgia Tech, a national title victory over Butler last April and 15 consecutive wins this season.
But Wednesday, Florida State turned losing into a reality for Duke, using a suffocating defense and big shots down the stretch to pull out a 66-61 victory over the top-ranked Blue Devils.
Duke (15-1, 2-1 ACC) had not lost since a 79-72 setback at Maryland on March 3 of last year, but shot a season-low 31 percent Wednesday as the longest active winning streak in the nation came to an end.
Florida State (12-5, 2-1) is no stranger to this sort of victory, having also knocked off a No. 1-ranked Duke team on March 1, 2006.
If any team had a chance to knock off the top-ranked Blue Devils this season, the Seminoles figured to be a good bet playing at home. They are tall and athletic, and had two experienced players leading the way -- senior guard Derwin Kitchen and junior forward Chris Singleton. Kitchen finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Singleton had 18 points.
Florida State held Duke to 28 percent shooting in the first half, including a 4-of-17 mark from three-point range, in order to take a 28-24 edge at the break.
The Seminoles then put themselves in a position to establish a substantial lead early in the second half. Terrance Shannon made two layups during a six- point burst that gave FSU a 40-29 advantage.
Kyle Singler missed a three-pointer at the other end, giving way to a fastbreak opportunity for Florida State, but the Seminoles couldn't take advantage.
That left the door open for Duke to get back in the game, and the talented Blue Devils did just that. Singler buried a three at the end of a long possession, and after Shannon missed a jumper, Nolan Smith got to the line and made both attempts.
Duke also used a press defense to generate offensive chances, as a Singler steal led to a Seth Curry layup that brought the Blue Devils within 40-36 with 12:49 to play.
A little more than a minute later, Andre Dawkins made three free throws to even the game at 42-42. It was still tied when Singler's three made it a 45-45 contest with 9:22 to play.
Duke had been in similar situations this season and pulled out victories. Just three days before, Maryland held a second-half lead and threatened down the stretch, but the Blue Devils made some key shots to claim a 71-64 win.
But on Wednesday, Florida State was the team to play in front down the stretch and make the key shots.
"We haven't been in a game like that all year, and they knocked us back," said Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. "You can try to practice that, but you don't practice against Kitchen and Singleton."
Following Singler's three, Kitchen scored five consecutive points and Michael Snaer hit a jumper to give the Seminoles a 52-45 advantage. Singler, who scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half, followed with another trey to keep the game close.
The Blue Devils were within 59-58 with 2:27 to play when Smith picked up a screen and sank a three from the top of the arc. But at the other end, Kitchen made a pullup baseline jumper.
While the deficit was just three points, Duke came up empty on its next two possessions -- Smith missed a jumper, and Singler's long three from the right side bounced off the front of the rim.
That allowed Florida State to establish a two-possession lead, as Singleton made both ends of a 1-and-1 with 33.1 seconds left, making it a 63-58 game.
Smith quickly followed with a three, but Snaer made two free throws to restore a four-point edge and secure the victory.
After time had run out completely, fans at the Tucker Center rushed the court in celebration -- the king was dead.
Duke's winning streak was the second-longest in school history behind a 32- gamer during the 1998-99 season...Florida State snapped a two-game slide overall...Smith ended with 19 points for Duke, while Mason Plumlee grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds.
- DUKE: 61
FLORIDA STATE: 66
Jan 12 11:12 PM
- DUKE: 24
FLORIDA STATE: 28
Jan 12 9:57 PM
- DUKE: 0
FLORIDA STATE: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Jan 12 9:10 PM
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