DUKE ROLLS 'NOLES
No. 18 Duke suffered through illness and injury and its poorest shooting day of the season on Saturday.
Still, the Blue Devils used guile and toughness and passion to deliver legendary coach Mike Kryzewski another milestone win.
Despite shooting a season-low 30.5 percent, Duke dominated Florida State on the boards and with aggressive defense to beat the Seminoles 78-56 and give Krzyzewski his 900th win at the school.
Florida State (13-6, 4-3 in ACC) started 7-3 center Boris Bojanovsky and 6-9 forwards Robert Gilchrist and Okaro White. But Duke, with 6-8 forwards Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood teaming with 6-9 Amile Jefferson getting the most post minutes, gained a stunning 47-24 rebounding edge.
Duke (16-4, 5-2 in ACC) recorded 27 offensive rebounds, its most in a game in 11 years.
“It’s something that we’re proud of,” said Parker, who had 14 points and 14 rebounds. “A lot of people were doubting — that we couldn’t guard the post, that we couldn’t get a lot of rebounds. But we tried to use that as a motivation that we need to improve, and we’re starting to do it.”
Even 7-0 redshirt sophomore center Marshall Plumlee got in on the fun. Plumlee produced seven points and seven rebounds in 12 effective minutes.
“But once we started rebounding… that’s the key to the game right there,” Hood said. “Jabari, Amile. Marshall did a tremendous job in the first half bringing energy, rebounding, going up strong. It was great for him. I think he boosted us.”
Hood had 18 points and nine rebounds despite not being on the floor to start the game. He felt ill and became sick to his stomach in the moments before the game. Krzyzewski said guard Tyler Thornton missed practice Friday because of the flu.
Duke point guard Quinn Cook said he sprained both his ankles during the game, but he was still able to play 28 minutes and produce nine points.
To overcome all that, Duke received jolts of energy from sources up and down its bench, including its head coach.
Wearing sneakers with his suit as part of a nationwide Coaches vs. Cancer awareness activity, Krzyzewski was animated in his motions all day. He once took a defensive stance, with bent knees, to show the team how he wanted it to play.
He angrily removed his jacket and slammed a chair during one first half timeout. On two other occasions, he verbally dressed down guards Matt Jones and Cook for miscues.
“I don’t know if we played (with) power, I just think we hustled,” said Krzyzewski, who has 973 career wins including his time at Army and Duke. “Getting the offensive rebounds, you’ve got to get the loose ball. I wouldn’t call that power. I thought we hustled and went after loose balls well.”
With difficult road games against No. 20 Pittsburgh Monday (7 p.m., ESPN) and No. 2 Syracuse on Saturday (6:30 p.m, ESPN), Jefferson said the Blue Devils need to establish their toughness.
“We have set ourselves up to do great things,” Jefferson said. “We’re facing two manly teams. Pittsburgh is going to be humongous. This was a good start for our team. We have to know on Monday that we are going to another opponent’s house that’s going to be rowdy. We have to replicate it, be hungry the entire game and good things will happen.”
Duke didn’t have many good things happen offensively, a rather stunning thing in a lopsided win. The Blue Devils missed 13 of their first 17 shots and shot 6 of 27 in the second half (22.2 percent).
Over the game’s final 10 minutes, Duke made just one field goal. But the Blue Devils sank 18 of their final 21 free throws.
The only hot shooting streak came in the final minutes of the first half when Duke broke open a tight game to lead 43-25 at intermission. The Blue Devils hit 8 of 14 shots during that stretch.
As it turned out, that was enough offense because Florida State committed 17 turnovers. Duke’s 10 steals played a large role in that number.
“We never seemed to get any offensive rhythm,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. “We dug a hole for ourselves and had a difficult time getting out of it. They went to the foul line a lot more than we did because they were much more aggressive with the ball.”
|No. 18 DUKE 78, FLORIDA ST. 56|
Percentages: FG .500, FT .556.
3-Point Goals: 2-6, .333 (Bookert 1-1, Miller 1-3, Smith 0-1, Thomas 0-1).
Team Rebounds: 3.
Blocked Shots: 4 (White, Ojo, Bookert, Bojanovsky).
Turnovers: 17 (Bookert 4, Miller 3, Brandon 3, White 3, Thomas 2, Gilchrist).
Steals: 6 (White 3, Bojanovsky, Bookert, Miller).
Technical Fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .305, FT .791.
3-Point Goals: 8-20, .400 (Dawkins 3-6, Thornton 2-2, Sulaimon 1-3, Hood 1-4, Cook 1-4, Parker 0-1).
Team Rebounds: 2.
Blocked Shots: 1 (Hood).
Turnovers: 12 (Sulaimon 3, Parker 3, Cook 2, Hood, Jones, Jefferson, Thornton).
Steals: 10 (Parker 3, Thornton 3, Jefferson, Sulaimon, Dawkins, Cook).
Technical Fouls: None.
Officials_Brian Dorsey, Gary Maxwell, Jerry Heater.