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Missed opportunity as FSU falls at Duke

The rims were the real MVP

NCAA Basketball: Florida State at Duke Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

In January, FSU handed Duke a loss in Tallahassee, and tonight, Duke returned the favor. Florida State repeatedly got the ball to the rim, only to miss. Credit Duke’s interior defenders, who were staunch all night, for many of the misses. But really, credit the rims. The Seminoles just couldn’t make shots around the basket.

The ‘Noles eFG% of 45.4% was the fourth lowest of the year.

Florida State got off to a decent start, leading 8-6 in the early going. But then a rash of turnovers and missed shots came, and it looked like they were going to get run out of the building. But credit the ‘Noles, whose intensity never waned, for sticking to the plan and getting back into the game. A turnover in the final seconds of the half left PJ Savoy with an open 5-footer, but he missed at the buzzer on a shot that would have cut the lead to single digits.

Most of the second half was played with Duke comfortably in the lead. At least until the final eight minutes. Florida State was able to make the crowd nervous, but never able to string together enough stops to threaten the lead.

In the end, Duke won 75-70.

Dwayne Bacon, who was quiet in much of the early going, got hot late and finished with 19 points. Xavier Rathan-Mayes finished with 15. Jonathan Isaac had eight points and eight boards. Trent Forrest had nine rebounds, including six on the offensive glass.

FSU fall to 23-7 (11-6), and finishes the season vs No. 25 Miami on Saturday.