Photos by Gerry Broome, Nolesports.com
I think those two photos pretty much sum up the way the game went.
After battling their way to a 6 point lead at the half, putting up 40 points on Duke's vaunted defense. The Noles were handed their second loss to Duke this season, 84-81. This was a battle from beginning to end, a game reflective of so many that the Noles have struggled through all year. I was glad that it was close; it was nothing out of the ordinary for us.
That chart pretty much sums it up. Despite having a very similar amount of turnovers at the half, Duke somehow managed to limit their turnovers and get to line. (If the chart isn't working go here.
I don't have a lot to say about the game. It was a disappointing loss on the road, but Duke is an excellent team and the fact that we could keep it anywhere near being a close game is good for this team. Next year, we win that game. On a neutral site, I expect we win that game.
Unfortunately, the second half turned frustrated any basketball fan. Solomon gets called for a cheap foul after a dunk. Hamilton gets a technical. I'm sure there was no call on this play....look at Henderson's elbow:
Gerry Broome, Nolesports.com
I normally don't like to comment on the referees, but they made it difficult for us and the difference in FT attempts for the two teams was more than noticeable. Last night we had 20 FT attempts, we typically average 22. Duke went to the line 31 times. They normally average 24. The interesting point is that FSU opponents typically average only 19 FT attempts per game. Notice a pattern:
Interesting to think about the role of foul shooting with regard to the success of the Noles. Looking at the pattern of whistle blowing for the three referees in this game, it's not at all surprising that Duke got more calls and we were given Technicals. No more on the refs. I'm not trained to be a referee and they are not trained to do what I do, so it's only fair to cautiously comment/asses.
Check out MattD's latest summary on our ACC tournament seed.
Notable numbers from the game:
Douglas had 27 points. Uche had 11 rebounds. Douglas had a career high 7 assists. Uche and Alabi each had a double double. And Henderson had another amazing night for Duke.
Here is the complete stats: