Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Thornton Drives Cameron Crazy; Junior Forward Records 37 Points, 15 Rebounds, but His Seminoles Lose

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Thornton Drives Cameron Crazy; Junior Forward Records 37 Points, 15 Rebounds, but His Seminoles Lose

Article excerpt


DURHAM, N.C. -- Undaunted, the Florida State men's basketball team charged head-long into Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday afternoon, prepared to take the fight to second-ranked Duke.

The Blue Devils were bloodied, but they wouldn't bow out, despite repeated shots from Seminoles junior forward Al Thornton and his teammates.

J.J. Redick's tie-breaking 3-pointer with 1:11 to play in overtime gave Duke a three-point lead, but it took two free throws from Shelden Williams with 3.3 seconds left to seal the Blue Devils' 97-96 victory.

"We overcame one of the great performances of an individual that has been done here in the last five years," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said after Thornton matched his career high with 37 points to go with 15 rebounds and five assists. "Thornton's performance was nothing less than spectacular. We had no answer for him."

The Blue Devils (21-1, 9-0) didn't solve Thornton, but turned to their dynamic 1-2 punch of Redick and Williams to deliver the decisive final blows. Redick and Williams combined for 63 points, including all of their team's 13 in overtime, to prevent the Seminoles (13-6, 4-5) from taking a monumental step toward earning an NCAA at-large berth.

"When the game was on the line they made some tough shots that were very well defended," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. "That's what great players will do."

The Seminoles weren't without opportunities, even after Redick's momentum-shifting 3-pointer. Redick had two turnovers in the final 39 seconds and missed a free throw. Williams missed two others from the line, but FSU couldn't capitalize.

Thornton, Isaiah Swann and Diego Romero all missed potential game-tying 3-pointers, and point guard Todd Galloway lost the ball out of bounds attempting to get off a game-tying layup as Williams stepped in to defend with four seconds remaining.

"I was going fast and there was some contact [with Williams] and the ball came loose," Galloway said. "I thought it went out on him, but it must [not] have gone out on him."

Galloway, like Hamilton and the rest of the Seminoles, refused to make excuses, though there were ample opportunities. None of those was bigger than the disparity from the free-throw line.

Duke outscored FSU 31-10 from the line, benefiting from 32 more attempts from the line than the visitors.

"For me to be complaining about the disparity in the fouls, or anything like that, would take away the spirit of the game," Hamilton said. "At the end of the day, regardless, they made a few more plays than we did."

Despite a subpar performance, which including seven turnovers, Redick finished with 36 points, including some of the game's biggest when it mattered most.

"This team has been very resilient at times this year," Redick said. …

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