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Florida State halts Duke's home streak with buzzer beater

Jan 22, 2012 - 2:50 AM Durham, NC (Sports Network) - Michael Snaer drilled a three-pointer from the right wing as time expired, lifting Florida State to a 76-73 victory over No. 4 Duke and ending the Blue Devils' lengthy home winning streak.

Snaer's shot, off an assist from Luke Loucks, came after Austin Rivers drove for a game-tying layup with 4.9 seconds to play. But Duke wasn't in position defensively and didn't close out on Snaer, who had enough space and time to get the winning shot off.

"It's disappointing," said Duke guard Seth Curry. "We scored and we each had to match up quick. It was a scramble situation, and I guess we didn't find one man."

The Blue Devils (16-3, 4-1 ACC) had won 45 consecutive home games, one shy of matching the school record. They had also won 64 consecutive home games against unranked opponents, starting that streak after dropping a 68-67 decision on February 4, 2007 to none other than Florida State.

The Seminoles (13-6, 4-1) have been a thorn in Duke's side over the last decade, coming up with some dramatic victories against high-ranked Blue Devils teams. Last season, Duke was the No. 1 team in the nation and carried a 15-0 record into Tallahassee for a January 12 meeting, but came out a 66-61 loser. It was the third time since 2002 that Florida State beat a top-ranked Duke team.

So while the loss still comes as a slight surprise, it wasn't a total shock, especially considering that the Blue Devils lost to Temple earlier this month in Philadelphia.

Still, Saturday's result seems like a shock when considering the context -- a high-ranked Duke team playing inside a raucous Cameron Indoor Stadium -- and the way it happened.

The Blue Devils led for most of the game, and by as many as nine points. Rivers, who led Duke with 19 points, drilled a three-pointer with a minute left in the first half for a 32-23 advantage.

But Florida State entered the break down by six after Snaer ended the half with a three-pointer, which came just before the buzzer.

"That was a great shot that Michael hit at the end of the first half," said Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton. "It kind of stopped the bleeding a little bit."

The Seminoles used an eight-point burst to take the lead early in the second half; Loucks ended it with a jumper to give FSU a 38-36 edge.

The teams traded the lead over the next few possessions, and Florida State got game-tying threes from Ian Miller and Deividas Dulkys as the half approached the midway point.

But after Dulkys' three made it a 50-50 game with 11:25 to go, the Blue Devils ran off eight consecutive points to seemingly take control. Ryan Kelly ended the rally by dunking off a steal, then drilling a three-pointer.

However, the Seminoles battled back, taking advantage of Blue Devils misses to tie the game. Loucks hit two foul shots with 4:48 left to make it a 62-62 game.

The Blue Devils' shooting struggles haunted them in the final minutes. They were up 70-69 with 1:12 left, but led only by one after Rivers made 1-of-2 from the line.

That allowed FSU to move in front on a Snaer jumper, and after Curry missed a three from the wing, Loucks made 1-of-2 from the stripe to give Duke a chance to tie the game with a bucket. But at the other end, Kelly sank just 1-of-2.

The Blue Devils had another chance to tie the game when Xavier Gibson -- who led the Seminoles with 16 points -- made only one of his two free throw attempts with 18.2 seconds to play. Rivers took advantage, driving down the center of the lane.

But because of all Duke's missed shots down the stretch, Rivers' clutch shot only tied the game. The Blue Devils had the chance to put away the game, but couldn't, so in a sense, Rivers' shot came a little too late.

And considering that the shot left 4.9 seconds on the clock, perhaps it was a little too early.

Game Notes

Florida State shot 54 percent...Duke made 39.7 percent of its shots...Snaer finished with 14 points, while Bernard James and Dulkys both scored 12 for FSU...Andre Dawkins scored 14 points for Duke, while Curry netted 12.