Duke's 45-game home streak ends with loss to FSU
By AARON BEARD
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) For once, Duke wasn't unbeatable in its famed arena.
Michael Snaer hit a 3-pointer at the horn and Florida State beat the fourth-ranked Blue Devils 76-73 on Saturday, snapping Duke's 45-game home winning streak.
The Blue Devils hadn't lost in Cameron Indoor Stadium since falling to rival North Carolina in February 2009. It had been even longer - five years - since Duke lost at home to an unranked opponent, though that 64-game streak started after a one-point loss to the Seminoles. The Blue Devils came within a win of matching their own Atlantic Coast Conference record for consecutive home wins before Snaer's final shot.
Of this group, only senior Miles Plumlee was on the team that lost to the Tar Heels here three years ago.
"You just go on," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "I think Duke fans take it for granted, probably. I'm not knocking them. I just think they take it for granted. It's not unusual for our program. We're very proud of that. We play a high level of teams in here. And to win that much is a testimony to how hard our guys work, every game, every year. ... And there was no pressure. We never talk about that."
The Blue Devils (16-3, 4-1) won 46 straight at home from 1997-2000, and most of the past 45 straight wins had come by double-digit margins. Duke had won 59 of 60 games in Cameron since the start of the 2008-09 season, and is the only ACC program to win at least 40 straight at home - which the Blue Devils have done three times.
But with Saturday's game tied, Luke Loucks sprinted up the middle of the court before zipping a pass to Snaer on the right side in front of the FSU bench. Snaer quickly launched a shot that dropped through the net at the horn, stunning the once-rowdy Cameron crowd and sending the Seminoles' bench spilling onto the court in celebration.
Snaer scored 14 points - including a banked-in 3 to beat the buzzer on the final play of the first half - and the Seminoles (13-6, 4-1) won their fourth straight game.
Austin Rivers had 19 points and tied the game on a driving basket with 4.9 seconds left for the Blue Devils.
Duke led by nine in the first half and by eight midway through the second, but the Seminoles just wouldn't let the Blue Devils pull away. Instead, they kept attacking and knocking down tough shots in one of college basketball's most hostile environments.
In fact, Snaer knocked down a pair of clutch shots in the final minute. On the first, he drove into the paint and knocked down a pull-up for a 71-70 lead with 55.8 seconds left. He followed that with an even bigger one then found himself at the center of a celebration that migrated all the way across the court to stand in front of a stunned group of Cameron Crazies.
Florida State shot 54 percent and knocked down 7 of 14 3-point attempts, following last weekend's 33-point home romp against preseason No. 1 North Carolina with another impressive performance.
Duke overcame its own 40-percent shooting by knocking down 10 3-pointers. The Blue Devils also dominated the offensive boards and outscored Florida State 20-6 on second-chance points, but they just couldn't come up with a final stop to force overtime.
Updated January 21, 2012