DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Seventh-ranked Duke had just followed a wild overtime win against its fiercest rival by battling through the final minutes of a close game to beat eighth-ranked Florida State when coach Mike Krzyzewski paused on his way off the court.
The Hall of Famer turned back in the direction of the “Cameron Crazies” and motioned for them to make even more noise, seeking even more of a tribute for his young team after Monday’s 70-65 win.
“This has been an incredible 48 hours for our team,” Krzyzewski said. “I’ve got good guys, man. I’ve got really good kids.”
It was only two days earlier that the Blue Devils (21-3, 11-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) had rallied from 13 down late in regulation and earned an emotionally draining road win at North Carolina, a game that saw them rally from 13 down late in regulation and get buzzer-beating shots to force overtime and later to win.
They returned home to face a team tied with them for second in the ACC, one game back in the loss column of fifth-ranked Louisville. And despite a turnover-heavy performance, the Blue Devils did enough down the stretch — a key rebound here, a defensive stop there — to beat the Seminoles (20-4, 10-3).
“Not many teams would’ve won tonight after Saturday,” Krzyzewski said. “I’m so damn proud of them, man. I wish you could feel what I feel.”
Tre Jones had 13 points for the Blue Devils, who shot 45% and hit 7 of 17 3-pointers to overcome 21 turnovers. Their defense also gave FSU tough looks and forced Trent Forrest to carry the offensive burden for much of the night for the Seminoles.
Forrest finished with 18 points, nine rebounds and eight steals to lead the Seminoles (20-4, 10-3), who shot just 38% and misfired from both the arc and the foul line.
“You’re going to have games like this,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said, adding: “We don’t always hit on all cylinders. This is part of the journey and part of the process. You learn from it and you move on.”
Florida State: The Seminoles helped themselves in this one by scoring 15 points off turnovers, but their poor outside shooting (3 of 18 from behind the arc) proved troublesome. FSU also made just 12 of 20 free throws, which loomed larger as the Seminoles found themselves in a tight game coming down the stretch.
“Free throws and a couple of 3s, and the game is totally different,” Forrest said. “Usually we’re hitting those shots. It’s really just a learning stage for all of us and I feel like we’re going to definitely learn from it.”
Duke: It wouldn’t have been a surprise to see Duke look a bit flat considering how much energy and emotion the Blue Devils spent in the comeback win in Chapel Hill — complete with Jones’ shot to force OT and freshman Wendell Moore Jr.’s putback to win. The Blue Devils played well enough to overcome the turnovers and win their fifth straight meeting against the Seminoles, including last year’s ACC Tournament championship game.
“We were tough throughout the entire game, even when we got down there in the second half,” Jones said. “We stayed tough, got the lead back and just made winning plays down the stretch.”
HELP ALL AROUND
Contributions came from throughout the Duke lineup on a quiet night for big man Vernon Carey Jr. Junior guard Jordan Goldwire matched his career high with 13 points on 5-for-5 shooting — including three 3s — after coming in averaging 4.0 points.
Alex O’Connell had five straight points during a key second-half sequence after FSU had gone up 52-50, then freshman Matthew Hurt went 4 for 4 at the line in the final 11.7 seconds as a clincher.
“Good teams win that game on Saturday, and lose on Monday,” said Javin DeLaurier, who hit two big free throws of his own with 52 seconds left. “Great teams win them both. As our group continues to grow and develop, this was a game that we really wanted.”
Florida State: The Seminoles host Syracuse on Saturday.
Duke: The Blue Devils host Notre Dame on Saturday.
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