Young paces No. 17 Duke past Florida State, 86-67
DURHAM, N.C. — Ryan Young’s best performance in a Duke uniform looked almost perfect.
Young came off the bench for a season-high 20 points, going 7 for 7 from the field, and the No. 17 Blue Devils beat Florida State 86-67 on Saturday.
Young, a graduate transfer from Northwestern, had 12 rebounds and added to the quest for perfection by making all six free-throw attempts.
“I’m sure I’ll find something he could have done better, but he was pretty close,” Duke coach Jon Scheyer said.
Jaylen Blakes scored 17 points in his first career start and reserve Dariq Whitehead added 16 points for Duke (11-3, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), which is undefeated in eight home games.
Young deflected credit for his stellar outing.
“The guards were finding me in easy places to score,” he said.
Caleb Mills and Matthew Cleveland both scored 18 points and Darin Green Jr. added 16 for Florida State (4-11, 2-2), which remains winless in seven games away from home.
Even without retired Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski on the Duke bench, the Blue Devils looked familiar to veteran Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton.
“Credit to (Scheyer) to get his guys to play the Duke way,” he said. “I didn’t see any difference from the way they played in the past.”
Blakes, a sophomore, had four of the 11 baskets from 3-point range for Duke, which was playing for the first time since a Dec. 20 loss at Wake Forest.
“They knew we had to be a lot better,” Scheyer said of his players after a holiday break. “I didn’t have to convince them of that.”
The Seminoles got to within 64-53 with less than nine minutes to play before the margin ballooned to 25 points.
“Hopefully, we can learn from this,” Hamilton said. “Learn what it takes to go out and play against a team that is extremely aggressive like this.”
Duke used a 10-0 run near the midway mark of the first half and led 42-25 at halftime behind 12 points from Young and 11 from Blakes. Three of the Blue Devils’ starters didn’t score in the first half and another, Jeremy Roach, was 1 for 7 from the field.
The Seminoles had their second-lowest first-half point total of the season.
“Our guards were doing a tremendous job of keeping them out of the paint and turning defense into offense,” Young said.
A lineup tweak worked out for the Blue Devils. Blakes matched his career-high point total from the Wake Forest game.
“It’s an honor (to be a starter),” he said. “We’re all just building off each other. Whatever five guys are out there, we’re confident in.”
Scheyer said lineup adjustments shouldn’t be a surprise.
“We’ve used our depth as a strength and I don’t see that changing,” he said.
Florida State: The Seminoles were competitive for stretches but had gaps in defensive rebounding that proved costly. They got only eight points from reserves while Duke posted 46 points from its bench players.
Duke: The Blue Devils were aggressive from the start and yet they needed boosts from the reserves. They had their most bench points in an ACC game since February 2005 vs. Wake Forest. This was just Duke’s second game since Dec. 10, but there will be a steady diet of games for the rest of the season.
Blakes took freshman Tyrese Proctor’s place in Duke’s starting lineup. . Hamilton was going for his 400th win while in charge of the Seminoles and his 600th overall. . Cleveland’s 10 rebounds gave him a double-figure total in five of the last six games. . Florida State hasn’t won at Cameron Indoor Stadium since January 2012.
Florida State: Hosts Georgia Tech on Saturday.
Duke: At North Carolina State on Wednesday.