Thursday, January 13, 2011

Florida State Shocks Duke, Hands Blue Devils First Loss

Duke is no longer perfect. On the other hand, Florida State's Derwin Kitchen might have been.

Kitchen scored 22 points and the Seminoles strangled Duke's potent offensive attack to hand the top-ranked Blue Devils a 66-61 loss, the first loss in nine months for the defending national champion.

It was as ugly for Duke as it was surprising.

The Blue Devils shot less than 31.4 percent from the floor and hit just 11-of-35 3-pointers. Senior guard Nolan Smith, who has assumed the mantle of point guard and scoring leader since the injury to Kyrie Irving, found nowhere to drive and Duke's offense stagnated.

Florida State took advantage.

The Seminoles, whose offense has faced it own struggles all season long, hung with Duke early on and took a four-point advantage into the locker room. They picked up where they left off, extending the lead to 11 points just over five minutes into the half.

The Blue Devils would rally.

Duke tied the game at 45 on three free throws from Andre Dawkins and matched the Seminoles again at 45, but a 7-0 Florida State run gave the home team the breathing room it needed.

The Blue Devils made one last run to cut the lead to 63-61 on a Smith 3-pointer with 32 seconds remaining, but the Seminoles hit three consecutive free throws and the Duke did not score again.

It was the second time Florida State knocked off an undefeated defending national champion Blue Devil team. The Seminoles upset Duke in 2002 as well. Florida State also defeated a top-ranked Duke team in 2006.

Chris Singleton added 18 points for Florida State.

Kyle Singler led Duke with 20, eighteen of which were in the second half.

The loss snaps Duke's 25-game winning streak, which dates back to last season.

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