FSU can’t pull off another upset of Duke
Cam Reddish had struggled for more than a month, searching for any kind of consistency with his shot.
With Zion Williamson on the bench in the second half and suffering from double vision after getting poked in the eye, Reddish made all the shots on Saturday — including the game-winner.
The freshman forward hit a three-pointer with 0.8 seconds left to lead No. 1 Duke past No. 13 Florida State, 80-78.
Reddish caught the ball on the wing off the inbounds pass and made a wide-open three-pointer to ensure that Duke (14-1, 3-0 ACC) would win its ninth straight game. Two freshmen carried the load for Duke as RJ Barrett scored 32 points on 10 of 19 shooting and Reddish finished with 23 points.
“It was great,” said Reddish, who scored 16 secondhalf points. “I was working really hard to get back to who I was. Trusting God. Praying every day to be who I was. It was a big shot for us. My coaches and teammates have helped me with my confidence. I’m glad I made the shot.”
It was a clutch shot at a critical moment for Duke, which hasn’t had many close games this season and has won 13 of 14 games by 10 or more points. The Blue Devils have just one loss, 89-87 to No. 5 Gonzaga on a neutral court.
Duke was certainly on the ropes on Saturday, especially playing in the second half without Williamson. The star freshman left the game after getting poked in the eye late in the first half. He didn’t return and had 11 points and eight rebounds in 17 minutes.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski wasn’t sure what to expect from the Blue Devils, who were without one of their top players and were facing a top-15 team on the road. Barrett and Reddish “kept us in it,” Krzyzewski said.
“They rose to the different occasion,” Krzyzewski said. “An occasion that we hadn’t been in this year.”
Losing for the first time in nine home games this season, Florida State (13-3, 1-2) nearly pulled off an upset, which is what happened eight years ago. The Seminoles knocked off No. 1 Duke 66-61 on Jan. 12,
“Coming close just doesn’t count,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “Maybe it does in horseshoes but not in basketball.”
P.J. Savoy made a pair of free throws with 15.8 seconds left, just seconds after forcing a turnover, to put Florida State ahead 78-76.
Barrett, who had 19 second-half points, then hit the first of two free throws with five seconds left. He missed the second, but the Blue Devils retained possession after a review overruled a call that the ball went out of bounds of a Duke player setting up Reddish’s shot.
Mfiondu Kabengele came off the bench to record his third career double-double, tying a career-high with 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Seminoles.
“We had a chance there at the end,” Hamilton said. “We basically got the things that we were looking for, we just came up a little short. Duke is the kind of team that can win it all. They have all of the ingredients. And they are going to continue to get better. That’s a scary thought.”