No. 8 FSU (20-4, 10-3) fell short at No. 7 Duke (21-3, 11-2) by a score of 70-65 after going 3-18 from deep and 12-20 from the free throw line.
After shooting lights out from beyond the arc on Saturday afternoon, the Seminoles came out ice cold at Cameron Indoor Stadium. FSU’s first four shots of the night were three-point attempts, and they missed all four despite having multiple wide-open looks. Duke built an early 11-2 lead after back-to-back wide open threes from Cassius Winston and Jordan Goldwire forced Leonard Hamilton to use his first timeout just five minutes into the game.
FSU missed their first eight shots of the evening, not making their first field goal till the 14:36 mark in the first half on a M.J. Walker running floater. The Blue Devils went into the U-12 media timeout with a 19-11 lead after two three-pointers from Matthew Hurt. Duke started the night 4-5 from deep as the Seminoles were content with giving up shots to crash the paint. While Duke was draining their open shots from deep, FSU couldn’t find anything but the rim, which was the difference earIy on.
Malik Osborne got FSU going from behind the arc, hitting Florida State’s first three pointer with 8:02 remaining in the half that cut the Duke lead to five at the U-8 media timeout. Trent Forrest kept FSU in the game on both ends of the floor early. In his first 11 minutes of play, Forrest picked up 8 points, 5 steals, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists.
Despite the slow start, FSU went into half down just one thanks to the play of Forrest and the defense. The senior leader went into half with 12 points on 4-5 shooting and five steals on the defensive end. The ‘Noles made just one three but were able to get back into the game by forcing 11 Duke turnovers, which led to 11 FSU points. The ‘Noles also blocked six Duke shots in the half, while grabbing eight boards on the offensive glass.
FSU took the lead from the Blue Devils on the first possession out of the locker room, as RaiQuan Gray laid in a basket to start the half. Goldwire’s second three of the night gave Duke a 39-36 lead at the first media timeout of the half. Forrest tied the game back up on his eighth steal of the night and a breakaway slam as Duke called a TO with 13:18 remaining in the game.
Devin Vassell tied the game at 50 with just over 9 minutes left in the game with his first three-pointer of the night. Osborne followed up the three with a beautiful pump fake and drive to take the lead with 8:31 left in the game. A 6-0 Duke run and a near four-minute drought for the ‘Noles gave the Blue Devils a 61-57 lead with four minutes left in the game.
Goldwire came through in the clutch again for the Blue Devils, with a running layup late in the shot clock to extend the Duke lead to three with just over two minutes left to play. A missed front end of a one-and-one from Balsa Koprivica with under two minutes left to play continued a trend of poor free throw shooting that put FSU in a hole all night.
Duke extended their lead to five with 52 seconds left in the game on two made free throws after two missed field goals by FSU. A dunk on the other end cut the game down to a one-possession game with 49 seconds remaining. After a missed three-pointer from Duke, FSU wasn’t able to grab a defensive rebound, which led to two Hurt free throws and a five-point deficit with 12 seconds remaining. After an Osborne made layup, Hurt made two more free throws to ice the game away for a Duke win after this was called a foul on FSU:
Duke won by a final score of 70-65 as a last-second, half-court heave from Vassell rimmed out.
FSU put up a very strong defensive effort on the night, but just couldn’t get shots or free throws to fall all night. The Seminoles finished the night 3-18 from three point and 12-20 from the free throw line, including two missed front ends of 1-and-1’s. Florida State ended the night just 25-66 from the field. Despite causing 21 turnovers, the shooting struggles were too much to overcome on the road.
Despite the loss, don’t forget Forrest’s plat on Monday evening. The senior posted a final line of 18 points, 9 rebounds, 8 steals, 4 assists, and 1 block on the night. The point guard also turned the ball over just two times on the night. Osborne added 14 points with 5 boards and 2 blocks on the night.
The Seminoles will look to get back in the win column on Saturday in the Tucker Center against Syracuse.