Duke scored the first 11 points of the game and knocked the Florida State Seminoles out of the ball game just as it began winning 79 to 60.
It was the most dominant performance from the Blue Devils all season and perhaps the best start to a game in quite some time. Duke managed to put the Seminoles out of contention essentially without Mason Plumlee who sat good bit of the first half with the game seemingly in hand. Plumlee only played 25 minutes and scored 8 points with 5 rebounds but for the most part the Blue Devils didn’t need him.
Duke shot lights out hitting 60 percent from the field and 61 percent from three point range something they haven’t done in the previous games on the road. But the Blue Devils also did as good a job in recent memory of defending as they held Florida State to 41 percent from the floor and only 23 percent from behind the arc.
The Blue Devils defense was also evident as they held the Seminoles top two scorers Okaro White and Michael Snaer to 7 points a piece for the game.
They also did a much better job rebounding the ball. Duke just out rebounded the Seminoles 23 to 21 with Plumlee and Amile Jefferson grabbing 9 total boards.
The Blue Devils got a balanced scoring effort with Seth Curry leading the way with 21 points while Quinn Cook 18 points, and Rasheed Sulaimon, 14 points, helped the hot-shooting back court pace the offense for Duke.
It certainly wasn’t the outcome that most were expecting. Duke was only a 6-point favorite headed into the game and with only a 5-4 record in Tallahassee since the 2001-2002 season the games between these two teams are typically close, but that wasn’t the case today as a young, inexperienced group of Seminoles ran into a buzz saw of a hot shooting Duke squad.
The victory is key as it helps keep Duke within arm’s length of Miami who will play NC State later Saturday afternoon. The Hurricanes have two-game lead in the ACC.
The Blue Devils most importantly played a complete game on both ends of the floor, something they haven’t done a whole lot of without Ryan Kelly. The victory could mean that the Blue Devils are taking a positive step without Kelly who isn’t expected back until late February at the least, if at all.
Duke is going to need this kind of effort going forward. They take on NC State this coming Thursday with a chance to avenge a loss from just a few weeks ago as well as take one step closer to getting back into the race for the ACC Regular Season title.
Follow us on Twitter @DukeBlogMKline and like us on Facebook-Duke Sports Blog. Got questions or comments? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org