Sunday , Feb , 04 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Seminoles seek first-ever win at Duke

Durham, NC (Sports Network) – The eighth-ranked Duke Blue Devils are fresh off
a heart-breaking overtime loss, and they will attempt to bounce back
strong in today’s ACC clash with the Florida State Seminoles.

With 16 wins to date, Florida State enters the month of February with its
most victories since the 1988-89 campaign. The Seminoles have played well
recently, as four of their last five outings have resulted in wins. On
Tuesday, FSU put forth its best offensive effort of the season in a 96-79
triumph over Maryland.

Duke is 5-3 in ACC play, and two of the losses have come in overtime by a
total of five points. On Thursday, the Blue Devils led Virginia for much of
the game on the road, but the Cavaliers were able to force overtime on a
shot with one second remaining with regulation and went on for the 68-66
victory. That defeat halted Duke’s five-game winning streak, and the squad
is now 18-4 overall, including 14-1 at home.

Duke owns a commanding 25-5 advantage in the all-time series with Florida
State, including a 15-0 mark at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Florida State’s Al Thornton is undoubtedly one of the premier players in the
ACC, as he is currently scoring 18.6 ppg on 55.6 percent shooting from the
floor. While Thornton is the most notable performer on the roster, he does
get some help from a pair of teammates who average double figures in scoring.
Toney Douglas checks in with 13.5 ppg, and Jason Rich is netting 11.4 ppg.
Through 22 outings, Florida State is posting 77.1 ppg this season while
limiting foes to 68.4 ppg. Thornton was brilliant in the win over Maryland on
Tuesday, as he scored 27 points on 12-of-17 shooting from the field. Rich was
close behind with 24 points, as his 10-of-12 effort from the floor was even
more impressive. The Seminoles connected on 61.7 percent of their field goal
attempts and grabbed 14 more boards than the Terps.

On Thursday, Duke missed all five of its field goal attempts in overtime,
overshadowing what was an otherwise solid performance in that game against
Virginia. The Blue Devils only committed 10 turnovers in 45 minutes of action,
but they forced an even lower total of 10 giveaways. Josh McRoberts scored 19
points in the loss, but he didn’t shoot the ball with great efficiency and
finished with only two rebounds in 43 minutes of action. DeMarcus Nelson
contributed 12 points for Duke, and Greg Paulus tallied 10 points. Nelson
currently leads his team in scoring with 14.4 ppg, and McRoberts checks in
with 13.2 ppg, 7.9 rpg and 3.9 apg. As for Jon Scheyer, an impressive
freshman, he is netting 11.8 ppg to round out a trio of double-digit scorers.
Duke boasts its youngest and most inexperienced lineup in recent memory, so
the fact that the team is ranked eighth nationally is impressive.