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Duke defeats Florida State for ACC tournament title

The Blue Devils play one of their best games of the season to beat the Seminoles, 79-69.

March 16, 2009|Associated Press

Duke is back in a familiar position: champion of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

The No. 9 Blue Devils swamped upstart Florida State with a barrage of three-point shots on the way to a 79-69 victory in the title game Sunday in Atlanta, giving Duke its ninth ACC tournament crown in 12 years.

Jon Scheyer, the tournament's most valuable player, scored 29 points, Gerald Henderson had 27 and the Blue Devils (28-6) turned in one of their most complete performances of the season.

Duke had more steals (five) than turnovers (four), outrebounded the taller, bulkier Seminoles, 35-34, and buried Florida State with a 12-for-25 showing from beyond the arc.

"We put in a lot of work to build this team to where it is today," Henderson said. "This is such an accomplishment."

Toney Douglas led the No. 22 Seminoles (25-9) with 28 points but that wasn't nearly enough to give the school its first ACC championship.

Big Ten

E'Twaun Moore scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half, and No. 24 Purdue rallied to beat Ohio State, 65-61, in Indianapolis for its first Big Ten tournament title.

JaJuan Johnson scored 16 points, and Robbie Hummel added nine points, 11 rebounds and five assists for the Boilermakers (24-9). Hummel was selected the tournament's most outstanding player.

Evan Turner had 22 points and 10 rebounds for Ohio State (22-10), which was chasing its second title in three years. The loss ended the Buckeyes' winning streak at four games.

Southeastern

Mississippi State showed all those bubble teams from the Southeastern Conference how to get into the NCAA tournament.

Phil Turner scored seven of his 12 points in the final 1:35, and the Bulldogs knocked off Tennessee, 64-61, in Tampa, Fla., to win the SEC tournament and the league's automatic NCAA berth.

Turner, who had 10 rebounds, made a three-point shot to put Mississippi State (23-12) in front for good, then made two free throws with eight seconds left to help the Bulldogs hold off the Volunteers (21-12) in a wild finish.

Wayne Chism led Tennessee with 15 points, but he missed seven of nine three-point shots.

Southland

Matt Kingsley scored 20 points and Stephen F. Austin earned the program's first NCAA tournament berth with a 68-57 victory over Texas San Antonio in the Southland Conference championship game in Katy, Texas.

Josh Alexander and Eddie Williams added 16 points each for the victorious Lumberjacks (24-7). Devin Gibson scored 23 points for the Roadrunners (19-13).

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