TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — That Florida State was the first team to beat Duke this season was a big surprise. That the top-ranked Blue Devils did themselves in with poor free-throw shooting was a shock.
Monte Cummings scored with 7.4 seconds left, and the Seminoles rallied from a four-point deficit in the final minute to beat Duke, 77-76, Sunday, ending the defending national champion's 22-game winning streak and leaving Division I without an unbeaten team.
"It took every bit of the 40 minutes to get the win," said Florida State Coach Steve Robinson, whose team had a 13-point lead with eight minutes to play. "Once we got behind, I told them we've just got to make some shots."
Duke (12-1, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) missed a chance to win when Mike Dunleavy's tip of a miss by Jason Williams rimmed out at the buzzer. But the Blue Devils hurt themselves with uncharacteristically poor free-throw shooting, making only two of eight in the final 1:30 and only seven of 19 in the game.
Florida State, which pulled within 76-75 on Antwuan Dixon's three-point basket with 28 seconds left, went to Cummings--a 25-year-old Army veteran--for its final play.
"I was knocking them down in the second half, so I felt good about it," said the 6-foot-4 Cummings, who got past Williams when he tried to draw a charge, then went baseline to the basket. "Somehow, Jason got tangled up, and it helped me get by him."
The victory was the first in 12 games against a top-ranked team for Florida State (8-5, 1-1), which held the lead for most of the second half.
"You always have in the back of your mind, 'They're going to come back, they're going to come back,"' Florida State guard Delvon Arrington said. "We were on our heels, but we weren't flat-footed."
Williams, who led all scorers with 26 points, missed six consecutive free throws in the final 5:40, including four in the final 1:24. The last two were with 20 seconds to play and would have given the Blue Devils a three-point lead.
"I promise you the next time I'm in that situation I will make them," Williams said. "Some of those things happen."
Florida State, which lost games last month to American and Western Carolina, hadn't beaten Duke since 1995.
It was Robinson's first victory in 12 games against the Blue Devils.
"They played better than we did," Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski said.
"We have a lot of work to do before we're some great basketball team. We're not one right now."