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3-pointer at buzzer gives Florida State Seminoles 76-73 victory at No. 4 Duke Blue Devils

DURHAM, N.C. — Michael Snaer acknowledged that he never felt comfortable playing in one of college basketball's most hostile environments, from the rowdy fans perched on the sideline to the way Duke tried to pressure the Seminoles out of their offense.

One shot changed everything, and ended Duke's long reign on its famed homecourt.

Snaer hit a 3-pointer as time expired and Florida State beat the fourth-ranked Blue Devils 76-73 Saturday, snapping Duke's 45-game home winning streak.

With the score tied, former Clearwater High standout Luke Loucks sprinted up the middle of the court before zipping a pass to Snaer on the right side in front of the FSU bench. Snaer quickly launched the shot over Andre Dawkins that dropped through at the horn, stunning the once-rowdy crowd at Cameron Indoor Stadium and sending the Seminoles' bench spilling onto "Coach K Court" in celebration.

"When it went in, I didn't know what to think," Snaer said. "It was amazing."

Snaer's basket gave the Seminoles (13-6, 4-1 ACC) a fourth straight win, which includes last weekend's 33-point home rout of preseason No. 1 North Carolina. It marked the second time the Seminoles have beaten both Duke and North Carolina in the same season, the other coming in 2002.

It marked the first home loss for the Blue Devils (16-3, 4-1) since they fell to the eventual national champion Tar Heels in February 2009. It also ended Duke's 64-game home winning streak against unranked opponents, which began after a one-point loss to FSU five years ago.

"There's not too many times teams can come in and win at a hostile environment like Duke and a great team like Duke," Loucks said. "We just kind of saw an opportunity here and went ahead and seized it. After the jubilation and jumping around in the locker room, the whole speech was that we're not finished. We only have four ACC wins right now, and that's not going to get us into the (NCAA) Tournament."

Xavier Gibson led FSU with 16 points. Snaer scored 14, including a banked-in 3 to beat the buzzer on the final play of the first half.

Duke led by nine in the first half and eight midway through the second, but the Seminoles wouldn't let the Blue Devils pull away to tie a school and ACC record for the longest home winning streak. Instead, they kept attacking and knocking down tough shots.

In fact, Snaer hit two clutch shots in the final minute. On the first, he drove into the paint and sank a pull-up for a 71-70 lead with 55.8 seconds left. Then — after Austin Rivers tied the score on a driving basket with 4.9 seconds left — Snaer answered with an even bigger one, putting him at the center of a celebration that migrated all the way across the court to stand in front of a stunned group of Cameron Crazies.

"The kid hit a beautiful shot," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said the shot looked good to him, prompting a reporter to ask him if he had any doubts it would go in.

"None whatsoever," Hamilton said as he playfully looked to the ceiling. "That's my story and I'm sticking to it."

Duke went in ranked last in the ACC in field-goal percentage defense, an unusual stat for Krzyzewski's program. FSU finished the game at 54 percent, including 67 percent (18-of-27) in a tense second half. The Seminoles scored 50 after halftime.

Duke had won 46 straight at home from 1997-2000, and most of the wins in the current streak had come by double digits. Duke overcame 40 percent shooting by hitting 10 3-pointers.

FSU 76

4 Duke 73

3-pointer at buzzer gives Florida State Seminoles 76-73 victory at No. 4 Duke Blue Devils 01/21/12 [Last modified: Saturday, January 21, 2012 10:21pm]
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