Duke responded from its most recent loss with one of its best defensive games of the season.
The eighth-ranked Blue Devils will probably need a similar performance against an equally stingy Florida State team.
Duke goes for its 14th straight home win when it takes on the Seminoles on Wednesday, looking to separate itself from the middle of the pack in a tight ACC race.
The Blue Devils (16-3, 4-2) return to Cameron Indoor Stadium after splitting a pair of road games last week. They bounced back from an 88-74 loss to North Carolina State last Wednesday with a 60-47 victory at then-No. 17 Clemson on Saturday, limiting the Tigers to 37.5 percent shooting after allowing a season-high point total to the Wolfpack.
“I am proud of our men,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “This was a game where points were difficult to come by and I thought both defenses were outstanding. We just got a couple breaks that made the difference.”
Nolan Smith scored 22 points and finished 8 of 13 from the floor to help Duke break open a game that was tied at halftime. The junior guard ranks second on the team with 18.5 points per game, and has averaged 21.0 over his last four contests.
Now, Duke will try to extend its 13-game winning streak at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils are 11-0 at home in 2010-11, winning by an average margin of more than 30 points.
They’re in for a test against Florida State (15-4, 3-2) - one of four visiting teams to have won at Cameron over the past four seasons - which is looking to win its third straight overall.
The Seminoles are second in the conference in scoring defense, holding opponents to 60.2 points, and their 35.5 field-goal percentage allowed is lowest in the nation.
Florida State and Duke are among a cluster of four ACC teams with two conference losses. They trail Maryland and Virginia, which have each dropped one league game.
“It is great, as least I think it is great,” Krzyzewski said of the parity in the conference. “A lot of it depends on the amount of rest that each team gets because there is not much difference in the teams up and down the conference. That makes it really exciting for everyone, except the coaches.”
Krzyzewski’s team won all three of its meetings against the Seminoles last season - one at home. Florida State has already defeated one ranked opponent away from home this season, beating then-No. 22 Georgia Tech 66-59 in overtime Dec. 20.
The Seminoles defeated the Yellow Jackets - this time ranked 19th - again Sunday, prevailing 68-66 at home after Solomon Alabi made two free throws with 22 seconds left.
Alabi finished with 14 points and sophomore forward Chris Singleton scored a career-high 23, shooting 9 of 17.
“I was just trying to get the offense going,” said Singleton, who’d scored a season-low two points in his previous game. “The coaches keep telling me to look for my shot.”
Duke leading scorer Jon Scheyer is averaging 17.0 points in five career games against the Seminoles.
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