DURHAM, N.C. - Despite a size advantage and a healthy bit of momentum coming in, FSU got both outrebounded and outplayed in Durham, losing to Duke 78-56.
Duke controlled the game from the outset. The Blue Devils led by as many as 20 points during the first half, mostly by taking advantage of FSU turnovers. The Seminoles had 12 first-half giveaways that translated into 18 points off turnovers for Duke. The Blue Devils led by 18 at half.
FSU stuck with its larger lineup for much of the first half, but it didn't work out the way FSU wanted.The Blue Devils were able to find open shooters on the perimeter and also get offensive rebounds at will.
The Blue Devils didn't shoot especially well in the first half - only 38 percent from the floor and 39 percent from the three-point line. Duke also was able to haul in 26 offensive rebounds while FSU only had 24 total.
"I was concerned about the matchups," Leonard Hamilton said. "And they did a much better job playing to their potential than we did to ours."
Even when FSU did get the ball into the paint and get fouled, the Seminoles weren't able to convert. FSU shot a dismal 10-18 from the free throw line while Duke shot 34-43 from the line. Florida State had two players foul out and was called for three flagrant fouls during the game.
"That's a big difference," Hamilton said. "I've got to look at the game film and try to evaluate. I find that a little staggering. That's something we've got to look at. I don't even know how to comment on that really. That's just such a discrepancy."
FSU's usual scoring options were shut down or nonexistent. Aaron Thomas and Ian Miller were explosive scorers through most of ACC play, but neither got involved on Saturday. Miller, Thomas and Okaro White combined for four first-half points on 2-6 shooting and had six turnovers. White and Miller both spent much of the first half in foul trouble on the bench. White played nine first-half minutes while Miller played five.
"It's always frustrating with your two seniors and in a tough place like this we need our seniors to lead," White said. "We're the only two who have played in this gym before."
FSU was unable to limit freshman star Jabari Parker, who had 12 points and five rebounds in the first half. His driving dunk with 7:30 to play sparked Duke's 22-11 run to close the half that put the game out of reach, and he had four first-half offensive rebounds. Parker finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds, 10 of them offensive boards.
The Seminoles did make a second-half run to cut the lead to 11 with 6:51 to play. FSU even had multiple chances to close the gap to single digits, but in three successive possessions after closing to 11, FSU missed a layup, missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and had a turnover, allowing Duke to build enough cushion.
"We had been in situations like that before," White said. "So we tried to stay calm and keep our composure. We felt pretty confident in the second half that we were going to go on a run, but we just couldn't sustain it."