Facing the best offense in the nation, Florida State (11-2, 0-1) needed to turn this game into a shootout to have a chance to win. And that’s exactly what they did. They used hot shooting to score 49 in the first half and added 44 in the 2nd half. But in the end, phenom Marvin Bagley III and Duke’s stable of 5* recruits were too much for the ’Noles, as the Blue Devils secured a 100-93 victory in Durham.
Early on it looked like Duke was the better team, as they methodically built a 19-12 advantage. But Phil Cofer - who before the game stated that the Seminoles weren’t just there to play, they were there to fight - led Florida State back. He made 4-5 3s in 17 first half minutes to score 22 points before the break.
FSU entered the 2nd half with a five point lead, 49-44.
Any hope the ’Noles might pull away were extinguished when Duke strung together a quick 14-0 run. But FSU kept fighting back. Led by Braian Angola’s 16 2nd half points, it was a tie game at the final media timeout.
But the last four minutes were all Duke. Florida State could hardly stop Trevon Duval, and when they did, Bagley was there to clean up the mess.
We’ve harped on FSU’s defensive rebounding since before the season began, and it was the difference for the Blue Devils today, as they cleaned up 47% of their own misses (slightly above their nationally leading average of 43%).
FSU made 47% of their 3s and 73% of their FTs, but just couldn’t get stops.
Cofer led Florida State with a career-high 28 points. Angola had 23 points and a team-high eight rebounds. MJ Walker and Mfiondu Kabengele each chipped in 10.
Bagley - the likely No. 1 pick in the NBA draft - had 32 points and 21 rebounds to lead the Blue Devils.
It doesn’t get much easier for Florida State, as their brutal start to ACC play continues when they host North Carolina Wednesday night.