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FSU stays close, can’t overcome Duke

The Seminoles force 21 turnovers, but are done in by their own mistakes.
Duke guard Tre Jones celebrates after scoring against Florida State during a tight Blue Devils home victory. [GERRY BROOME  |  AP]
Duke guard Tre Jones celebrates after scoring against Florida State during a tight Blue Devils home victory. [GERRY BROOME | AP]
Published Feb. 11
Updated Feb. 11

DURHAM, N.C. — Tre Jones had 13 points to help seventh-ranked Duke overcome a turnover-heavy performance to beat No. 8 Florida State 70-65 on Monday night.

The Blue Devils (21-3, 11-2 ACC) were coming off a wild and emotionally draining overtime win against rival North Carolina on Saturday. And the teams entered this game tied for second in the ACC, sitting one game back in the loss column of No. 5 Louisville.

The Blue Devils responded by grinding through a tough win, shooting 45 percent and hitting 7 of 17 3-pointers to overcome 21 turnovers in one of their highest totals of the season. And the defense gave the Seminoles tough looks, forcing FSU’s Trent Forrest to carry the offensive burden for much of the night.

Big man Vernon Carey had a quiet offensive night (10 points and 10 rebounds), but Duke got a boost with junior guard Jordan Goldwire matching his career high with 13 points on 5-for-5 shooting — including three 3s — after coming in averaging 4.0 points.

Freshman Matthew Hurt also had a couple of big moments in the final seconds, going 4-for-4 at the line in the final 11.7 seconds to help the Blue Devils clinch thie game.

Forrest finished with 18 points, nine rebounds and eight steals to lead the Seminoles (20-4, 10-3), who shot 38 percent.

The Seminoles helped themselves by scoring 15 points off turnovers, but their poor outside shooting (3-of-18 from behind the arc) proved troublesome.

FSU also made just 12 of 20 free throws, which loomed larger as the Seminoles found themselves in a tight game coming down the stretch.

“Free throws and a couple of 3s, and the game is totally different,” Forrest said. “Usually we’re hitting those shots. It’s really just a learning stage for all of us and I feel like we’re going to definitely learn from it.”

The Seminoles lost to Duke for the fifth straight meeting, including last year’s ACC tournament championship game.

“You’re going to have games like this,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “We don’t always hit on all cylinders. This is part of the journey and part of the process. You learn from it and you move on.”

It wouldn’t have been a surprise to see Duke look a bit flat considering how much energy and emotion the Blue Devils spent in the comeback win in Chapel Hill two nights earlier.

“Good teams win that game on Saturday, and lose on Monday,” said Duke’s Javin DeLaurier, who hit two big free throws with 52 seconds left. “Great teams win them both. This was a game that we really wanted.”

The Blue Devils shot the ball solidly enough, at least to overcome the turnover problem. And when it was over, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski motioned to the “Cameron Crazies” for more noise as his team prepared to leave the court.

“This has been an incredible 48 hours for our team,” Krzyzewski said. “I’ve got good guys, man. I’ve got really good kids.

“Not many teams would’ve won tonight after Saturday. I’m so damn proud of them, man. I wish you could feel what I feel.”

The Seminoles next host Syracuse at noon Saturday (ESPN2).

Men’s poll

Michigan State became the first team since Kentucky in 2013-14 to drop out of the AP poll after being the preseason No. 1. The Spartans, who were No. 16, have lost three straight. Baylor remained No. 1. No. 10 Seton Hall, which moved up two spots, was the only addition to the top 10.

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