When Duke and Florida State met Jan. 10 with Amile Jefferson sidelined by a right-foot bone bruise, Seminole big men Michael Ojo, Jarquez Smith and Christ Koumadje looked like kids in a candy store.

Without Jefferson, the Blue Devils were forced to throw Harry Giles and Chase Jeter into the mix to try to slow down Florida State's athletic 12-man rotation, resulting in a slew of dunks for the Seminole big men and an 88-72 rout.

After Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said he wasn't sure whether Jefferson would play Tuesday following the Blue Devils' ugly loss at Miami, some Blue Devil fans were concerned the Seminole frontline would feast again.

But Jefferson was a full go for his last home game at Cameron Indoor Stadium, and he was the one controlling the paint as Florida State stumbled inside time and time again.

In addition to reaching the 1,000-point mark for his career, Jefferson fueled No. 17 Duke's 75-70 win against the No. 15 Seminoles with his 14-point, 11-rebound performance—his first double-double since Dec. 10. The game was not as close as the final score indicated, with the Blue Devils leading by 10 in the final minute before a few late Florida State buckets.

Freshman Frank Jackson was a big reason why, posting a career-high 22 points—including 10 straight Duke points early in the second half to stretch the lead to 19 before the Blue Devils held on.

“It’s special. It’s an unbelievable way for me to leave my last game in Cameron,” Jefferson said. “My mark has been a guy who plays hard, who hustles, who does the dirty work. And to be able to leave like that—playing hard, fighting for my heart out on that floor one time in Cameron—was unbelievable for me and our group. Our group was in the moment the entire game.”

Starting in place of junior Grayson Allen—who played just 16 minutes and still looked less explosive after sitting out against Miami—Jackson played one of his best games of the season to inject life into the team’s offense.

The Alpine, Utah, native fed off a slew of transition opportunities created by Jefferson’s defense inside, shooting 8-of-15 from the field and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. After sparking the Blue Devils’ 9-0 run near the end of the first half that staked Duke (23-7, 11-6 in the ACC) an 11-point halftime advantage, Jackson’s transition triple with 15:37 remaining gave the team its biggest lead of the night and sent Cameron into a stupor.

“Frank brings an energy to our team that nobody else can. Other guys, they bring energy, but Frank opens us up a lot,” sophomore Luke Kennard said. “The way he’s been playing, we need him to continue to do that for us to be good.”

Duke let Florida State (23-7, 11-6) cut the lead to eight with 6:26 remaining thanks to a 7-0 run, but Kennard responded with a key triple and a Jayson Tatum layup two minutes later extended the lead to 12. Kennard and Tatum joined Jefferson and Jackson in double figures, combining for 33 points and 15 rebounds.

The Seminoles clawed back within eight with less than three minutes left before Kennard knocked down a pair of free throws to preserve the win.

Coming off a two-game losing streak, Duke’s win Tuesday was its its fourth against a top-20 opponent and first relatively stress-free victory in more than a month. Blue Devil head coach Mike Krzyzewski was able to sub Jefferson and senior Matt Jones out for one last ovation in front of the crowd and embrace the two consummate glue guys and leaders who have been on the court for more than 100 victories apiece.

“Four years here ain’t for the fainthearted. To have that moment with Coach K—honestly, I’ve had a couple moments like that over my four years—but to be an old man basically to these kids and to have that moment with Coach, it was one that I’ll cherish and remember,” Jones said.

From the outset, the Blue Devils were more physical than they were when they first played Florida State, contesting the Seminoles’ pick-and-rolls more aggressively and keying on the team’s leading scorer—sophomore Dwayne Bacon. Bacon got just three first-half shot attempts against Jones, and his big men squandered several easy looks in the paint that could have given Florida State an early advantage on the road.

Ojo, Smith and Koumadje shot just 1-of-10, and the Seminoles posted 38 points in the paint after racking up an absurd 56 in the January meeting.

Although Bacon and Xavier Rathan-Mayes got going after halftime to fuel Florida State’s comeback effort, combining for 34 points, their strong finish to the game was too little, too late. One of the top floor generals in the nation, Rathan-Mayes entered the game having amassed 23 assists against just two turnovers in his last three contests.

But the junior matched a season-low with just one helper Tuesday, an indication that an up-and-down Duke defense put together one of its more complete performances.

“That was a key to the game, because usually he sets the table,” Krzyzewski said. “Our goal was to try to keep him out of the paint…. We actually were doing that pretty well until we got worn out, and they just pushed it down our throats at the end, but still, we had enough to win.”

Now tied with the Seminoles for fourth in the ACC, the Blue Devils will look to secure a double bye in next week’s conference tournament in New York with a win at No. 5 North Carolina Saturday night.