No. 5 Duke visits FSU

The fifth-ranked Duke Blue Devils (14-2, 4-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) hope their renewed defensive focus can help them snap a two-game road losing skid tonight when they visit ACC rival Florida State (10-8, 1-6) at the Leon County Civic Center.

The fifth-ranked Duke Blue Devils (14-2, 4-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) hope their renewed defensive focus can help them snap a two-game road losing skid tonight when they visit ACC rival Florida State (10-8, 1-6) at the Leon County Civic Center.

The game will be televised by Sunshine Network and tip-off is 8 p.m.

Duke, which hasn't lost three consecutive conference road games since 1996, is in danger of matching that streak after losses at Maryland and North Carolina State.

The Blue Devils allowed the Terrapins and Wolfpack to shoot an average of 48 percent from the field, while allowing 83.3 points per game in those losses.

But when Duke returned home to take on Georgia Tech and Butler, the Blue Devils revised their defensive game plan, limiting the teams to a combined 38.4 percent from the floor, including just 30.6 percent from 3-point range.

In Thursday's 80-60 win over Butler, which entered the game with a 48.8 shooting percentage, the Blue Devils held the Bulldogs to a season-low 37.9 from the field.

''We really came out trying to play team defense,'' Duke senior center Casey Sanders said.

''We tried our hardest to take away the easy stuff and really make them earn it. We realize even more how much we need each other. We needed to bond together on defense and that's one of the ways we get going as a team. We saw the need to make defense our primary objective every day.''

Despite its recent attention to defense, Duke remains the highest-scoring team in the nation, averaging 86.8 points per game.

Dahntay Jones leads a balanced attack with 17.6 points per game.

''We have to really get going now and get back in the conference,'' Krzyzewski said.

Florida State has lost two straight and five of six, including Wednesday's 85-72 setback to Virginia.

Tim Pickett, who leads the Seminoles with 18.2 points per game, scored a team-high 21 points, only three of which came in the second half.

Anthony Richardson added 17 points and Todd Galloway had 12 and eight assists for Florida State.

''On offense, our inexperience showed,'' Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton said. ''It seemed as though their changing defenses affected us. Each time we made a mistake, they made us pay.''

The Blue Devils lead the all-time series 20-3, including an 8-3 mark on the Seminoles' home floor.


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