DURHAM, N.C. (AP) Duke has been dealing with some injured players and even more ranked opponents. The 15th-ranked Blue Devils were emotionally drained – yet they still found enough energy to beat fading Florida State.
Grayson Allen scored 18 points, Brandon Ingram added 16 and Duke defeated the Seminoles 80-65 on Thursday night.
Marshall Plumlee had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Blue Devils (21-7, 10-5 Atlantic Coast Conference), who faced an unranked team for the first time since Feb. 6. They played four straight against the Top 25, winning the first three by a combined seven points.
“The emotion that we’ve had to have for these last five games – really, they’re tired,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “And you could tell, and it’s not because of being physically out of shape. They’re giving me everything.”
The Blue Devils placed five players in double figures for the first time in league play and forced 14 turnovers while matching a season low with five themselves.
“A good shooting team like this, you can’t give them extra possessions,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. “We just got beat by a team that played much better than us tonight.”
Luke Kennard finished with 12 points and Matt Jones added 11 in his first game back from injury for Duke, which has won six of seven.
Freshman guard Dwayne Bacon had 12 points and 10 rebounds, Xavier Rathan-Mayes scored 13 and Devon Bookert finished with 10 points for the Seminoles (16-12, 6-10). They have lost a season-worst five straight.
Florida State never got closer than 11 in the second half, the last time coming on Bookert’s jumper at the 10-minute mark. Ingram hit two free throws, Jones hit a 3 and Plumlee followed with a dunk on Jarquez Smith and then a free throw that made it 67-50 with 8:52 remaining.
Duke was coming off a loss at Louisville in which the Blue Devils’ depth issues hurt them.
Jones missed that game with a sprained ankle sustained against North Carolina, effectively leaving Duke with just five players. And then freshman point guard Derryck Thornton missed about 5 minutes of the second half against the Cardinals after injuring his right (shooting) shoulder in a collision with a Louisville player.
“I just feel like we keep getting better and keep getting tougher,” Jones said.
Both played in this one, and Jones started the 24-10 run that gave Duke plenty of breathing room with a 3-pointer with 11 minutes left in the half. Allen capped the burst with a layup on which freshman Malik Beasley was called for goaltending, making it 36-24 with 3:41 before the break.
Chase Jeter came up with the best 4-minute run of his Duke career, by far. In that span the lightly tested freshman drew a charge, grabbed four rebounds, threw down a dunk and had the Cameron Crazies chanting his last name. “That’s everybody’s dream, to be in Cameron and hear the fans chanting your name,” Jeter said.
Florida State: Beasley and Bacon entered as the highest-scoring pair of freshmen in ACC history, combining to average 31.9 points. That was barely better than the combination of Mark Price and John Salley, who scored an average of 31.8 points for Georgia Tech in 1983. … This was the Seminoles’ final regular-season road game.
Duke: The Blue Devils missed their first nine shots, then shot 51 percent the rest of the way. … Allen is on pace to become the ninth player in school history to lead the team in scoring and assists, and the first since Nolan Smith during his ACC player of the year season in 2011. Smith was added to the coaching staff earlier this week and made his coaching debut in this game.
Florida State hosts No. 23 Notre Dame on Saturday.
Duke visits Pittsburgh on Sunday.
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