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FSU comes up short against Duke

Florida State got Duke's best effort in Tallahassee on Wednesday night, and this time, it was the fourth-ranked Blue Devils that came out on top on the scoreboard.

Andre Dawkins came off the bench for Duke and caught fire from beyond the arc finishing with a team-leading 22 points.

As a team, Duke made 13 of their 28 attempts from three-point range, most damaging of which came in the first half as Dawkins finished with 18 points at the break.

"Our 3-point shooting was probably the difference in the game," said Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. "Andre had such a great first half."

Florida State consistently cut the Blue Devils' lead down two one and two possessions. But each time, Duke had an answer.

"We were always digging trying to get over that hill, and every time they had the opportunity, they made us pay," FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton said. "They are one of the best three-point shooting teams in the country."

Turnovers, seemingly a constant Achilles heel for Coach Hamilton's team, were not the reason for FSU's demise.

In fact, Duke finished with three more turnovers (11) than the home team dressed in white (8).

"I thought we took care of the ball well," said Coach Hamilton. "We just had too many empty possessions. I have to give them credit for that. They defended our system better than we defended their system."

Seminoles senior forward Bernard James had a tough first half, but came back with a vengeance finishing with 13 points, nine rebounds and five blocks.

Guard Michael Snaer led FSU with 18 points.

Florida State fell to 19-8 and 10-3 in the Atlantic Coast Conference with the loss. Duke, meanwhile, improves to 11-2 in the conference and 24-4 overall.

"You have to give them credit for going to their strengths," Hamilton conceded. "They took 52 shots and 28 of them were three's. That is a team playing to their strength. That is why they are such a good basketball team.

"It is one game. We lost one game. We have three more to go. I don't think very many people expected us to be here in the first place. I think we are moving our program forward, we are making progress and we got beat by an outstanding basketball team."

The Seminoles, still alive in the ACC regular season title race, will travel to Miami on Sunday for a 6 p.m. matchup.

"You have to learn from it," explained coach Hamilton. "That's why we don't get too high when we have a certain level of success, and sure to goodness, we are not going to allow ourselves to wallow in self pity because we have another game on Sunday and we have a history of bouncing back. Hopefully we will do that in Coral Gables on Sunday."

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