Blue Devils Dominate Noles
"We haven't had a game like this in a long time where we really put an opponent away," said Duke guard J.J. Redick, who bordered unstoppable in a season-high 31-point performance. "We kept them down for 40 minutes."
The shellacking denied Florida State what could have been consecutive wins against top-5 opponents for the first time in school history. Any leftover pride from an overtime upset of No. 3 Wake Forest was replaced with FSU's most lopsided defeat since a 96-63 loss to Maryland on Feb. 7, 2002.
"We need to learn how to handle success and learn how to build on big wins," FSU guard Andrew Wilson said. "You have to give them credit – they whipped us in every aspect of the game."
An efficient start by Duke countered by a punch less one from FSU quieted a rare sellout crowd. The Blue Devils led by ten points after ten minutes and took an 18-point advantage into halftime when Redick connected on a long three-pointer just before the buzzer.
The rattled Seminoles, meanwhile, missed numerous lay-ups and shot just 30 percent from the field in the first half.
"If they hang with you for awhile, they're going to get a lot more confidence," Redick said. "We knew if the crowd got into it there'd be trouble."
FSU coach Leonard Hamilton characterized the span as a chain reaction.
"Had we have made some of those shots (early on), maybe our young team would have gained more confidence and played with more spirit on the defensive end," he said.
Redick wowed the packed house and defused a taunting student section by connecting on 8-of-11 attempts from beyond the arc. The sharpshooter also harassed FSU leading-scorer Von Wafer into a 2-for-9, ten-point performance on the defensive end.
"He's the most phenomenal shooter I've ever been around," Hamilton said. "If your not there in his face at the catch, he's almost automatic."
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski also sung praises of Redick, agreeing his junior is the best pure shooter he's ever coached.
"When your hitting 3s from that far out is demoralizing for a team that's trying to come back," he said.
Daniel Ewing added 14 points for the Blue Devils, who are one of XX remaining unbeatens in Division I. With 11 points and 13 rebounds, Shelden Williams turned in his 27th career double-double.
Reserve point guard Isaiah Swann had 13 points for the Seminoles, who travel to North Carolina State Jan. 26.
"We're looking for a way to finish on a positive note," Hamilton said. "I think there are enough opportunities out there for us to do that."
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