TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida State made the 3-pointers when it mattered most in its upset of Duke last month, hitting 50 percent of its shots from beyond the arc.
But the 15th-ranked Seminoles misfired badly from long range and at the free throw line Thursday night in their second matchup against the fifth-ranked Blue Devils. They made just 4 of 15 3-point attempts and were a chilly 12 of 22 on free throws in a 74-66 loss.
“We fought hard but we had just too many empty possessions,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said.
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Michael Snaer scored 18 points on 8-of-18 shooting, and Bernard James scored 13 points in the game’s final 21 minutes for Florida State (19-8, 10-3 Atlantic Coast Conference). James also tied a career-high with five blocks.
Duke (24-4, 11-2) was simply too good from long range. The Blue Devils made 46.4 percent of their 3-point attempts (13 of 28), with Andre Dawkins making six and Austin Rivers connecting on four.
“They obviously are one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country,” Hamilton said. “We got beat by a pretty good basketball team tonight.”
Snaer hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer and the Seminoles made 7 of 14 3s in the upset at Cameron Indoor Stadium. And he gave the Seminoles a win over Virginia Tech a week ago with another 3-pointer in the closing seconds. Deividas Dulkys made eight 3-pointers in Florida State’s 90-57 win over No. 7 North Carolina.
But the Seminoles couldn’t rekindle any of that magic on Thursday.
“For Florida State fans, it wasn’t as good as the game in Durham,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “But I think it was played at an even higher level. Both teams have gotten better.”
Florida State had won 10 of 11 games coming into Thursday, and a win over Duke would have given them a share of first place in the ACC with North Carolina (24-4, 11-2).
“We’ve got to forget about this game,” Snaer said. “This was a hard-fought game and we know that we have so much more at stake than to worry about this loss.”
The Seminoles, who have never won an ACC title, beat Duke and North Carolina in January, but they never got a shot at any last-second heroics Thursday although they got within three points twice, the last at 61-58 with 4:17 left on a three-point play by James.
It was just the Seminoles’ second home loss this season. They have three games left, beginning at Miami on Sunday, before the ACC tournament next month in Atlanta.