The Duke Blue Devils moved to 6-2 in the ACC despite a lackluster showing from Marshall Plumlee, downing Florida State 79 to 60 in Tallahassee.The Blue Devils have lost to the Seminoles in each of the past two seasons, so this year’s win was likely a bit of a relief.
Both teams were playing without key pieces. Duke suffered their first two losses of the season with senior forward Ryan Kelly on the bench with an injury, and the Seminoles have struggled to rebound the ball without 6’8″ junior Terrance Shannon, who injured his neck at Virginia.
Seth Curry took the lead for Duke, scoring 21 points on the strength of a 7-11 shooting day. Quinn Cook had the best all-around game with 18 points, 5 boards and 6 assists, and freshman teammates Rasheed Sulaimon (14 points) and Amile Jefferson (11) chipped in double-figure days as well. Mason Plumlee, ordinarily a double-double man, had just eight points and five rebounds, but blocked three FSU shots in limited action.
Florida State has struggled to score inside all season long, but this game left plenty of blame to go around. Preseason favorite Michael Snaer scored just seven points on the day and endured a 3-13 shooting performance but didn’t get much help from his fellow upperclassmen. Freshman Aaron Thomas poured in 14 to lead all ‘Noles scorers, and fellow first-year Devon Bookert totaled nine points in 24 minutes of play.
Until two weeks ago, Duke looked like a juggernaut rolling toward the ACC title, but losses to N.C. State and No. 25 Miami have left the Hurricanes in the driver’s seat instead. In that context, an ACC road win, even over an obviously discombobulated team like the Seminoles, has real value. The Blue Devils will host No. 19 N.C. State on Thursday, in hopes of staying one step ahead of 5-2 Virginia, who play at Georgia Tech on Sunday.
Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.