No. 13 FSU falls to top-ranked Duke on last-sec­ond 3.

Tampa Bay Times - - Sports - Times wires

TALLAHASSEE — After a crush­ing 80-78 loss Satur­day to No. 1 Duke on a last-sec­ond shot, Flor­ida State coach Leonard Hamil­ton didn’t want to get caught up in moral vic­to­ries.

“Com­ing close just doesn’t count,” he said. “Maybe it does in horse­shoes but not in bas­ket­ball. … We don’t want to take any moral vic­to­ries away. We had a chance, and we got beat by a team that played a lit­tle bet­ter than we did.”

En­ter Duke’s Cam Red­dish, who has strug­gled for more than a month, search­ing for some con­sis­tency with his shot.

With fel­low fresh­man Zion Wil­liamson on the bench in the sec­ond half due to dou­ble vi­sion after get­ting poked in the eye, Red­dish made all the shots, in­clud­ing the win­ning 3-pointer with 0.8 sec­onds left to rally the Blue Devils in the sold-out Tucker Cen­ter.

Red­dish caught the ball on the wing off the in­bounds pass and made a wide-open 3 to give Duke (14-1, 3-0 ACC) its ninth straight win. Two fresh­men car­ried the load for the Blue Devils as RJ Bar­rett scored 32 and Red­dish had 23.

“It was great,” said Red­dish, who hadn’t scored more than 10 points in Duke’s past six games but scored 16 in the sec­ond half alone. “I was work­ing re­ally hard to get back to who I was. Trust­ing God. Pray­ing ev­ery day to be who I was. … My coaches and team­mates have helped me with my con­fi­dence.”

Duke was on the ropes in the back-and-forth game — over the fi­nal 10 min­utes the lead changed hands 11 times with five ties — es­pe­cially play­ing the sec­ond half with­out Wil­liamson. He was poked in the eye late in the first half and didn’t re­turn, fin­ish­ing with 11 points and eight re­bounds in 17 min­utes.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski wasn’t sure what to ex­pect from his Blue Devils, who were with­out one of their top play­ers and fac­ing a top-15 team on the road. “They rose,” he said of Bar­rett and Red­dish. “They rose to the dif­fer­ent oc­ca­sion. An oc­ca­sion that we hadn’t been in this year.”

Duke has had very few close games this sea­son, win­ning 13 of 14 by 10 points or more.

The Semi­noles (13-3, 1-2) were try­ing to go 3-0 all time in Tallahassee against a No. 1-ranked Duke team, the other wins com­ing in 2011 and 2006.

P.J. Savoy made a pair of free throws with 15.8 sec­onds left, just sec­onds after forc­ing a turnover, to put FSU up 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 with 2.8 sec­onds left after a re­view over­ruled a call that the ball had gone out of bounds off a Duke player, set­ting up Red­dish’s shot.

Mfiondu Kaben­gele came off the bench for his third ca­reer dou­ble dou­ble, ty­ing a ca­reer­high with 24 points and 10 re­bounds for FSU (13-3, 1-2). Phil Cofer made five 3s and had a sea­son-high 21 points.

“Duke is the kind of team that can win it all,” Hamil­ton said. “They have all of the in­gre­di­ents. And they are go­ing to con­tinue to get bet­ter. That’s a scary thought.”

The Semi­noles re­mained poised down the stretch, re­spond­ing to a 10-0 Duke run in the sec­ond half, tak­ing a late lead and over­all mak­ing things dif­fi­cult for the Blue Devils, with the ex­cep­tion of the fi­nal shot.

“It hurt all of us, just be­cause we were there the whole time,” Cofer said about the loss. “It hap­pened, we mis­com­mu­ni­cated on de­fense and we have to move on.”

As­so­ci­ated Press

A wide open Cam Red­dish takes the win­ning 3-pointer as top-ranked Duke holds off FSU.

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