Florida State Falls Short Against Duke 73-70

Florida State nearly pulled off an incredible comeback, but fell just short against Duke.

Florida State lost a very close 73-70 game to the Duke Blue Devils Monday night. The Seminoles fell just short of taking down the No. 4 team in the country when Robbie Berwick wasn’t able to get a shot off at the last second. The Seminoles fall to 13-12 on the season and 5-7 in the ACC.

The game started slowly with both teams failing to score in the first 3:52 of the game. The first half was highlighted by a Phil Cofer dunk over the likely No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft Jahlil Okafor.

Cofer said he didn’t expect to make the dunk at first.

“[Okafor’s] a great player,” Cofer said. “The way he was just bodying stuff up. I wasn’t trying to dunk it at first. Devin had a great drop off. I thought I was going to miss it at first because of the Nebraska game, but coach kept telling us to keep going to the basket and finish strong.”

Florida State held a lead for most of the first half holding the Blue Devils to 0-8 to start the game. Duke was able to take it back and pull away towards halftime. The Blue Devils went on an 8-2 run to end the half and put Duke up 32-24.

The Seminoles were able to fight their way back into the game at points, but Duke pushed their lead to 12 with 5:11 remaining. However, from that point on Florida State went on a 16-7 run and brought the game down to the last possession. The Seminoles inbounded the ball with 5.9 on the game clock, but Duke elected to foul rather than give the Seminoles a chance for the three. The move paid off for head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Devin Bookert said it was very frustrating to have the ball with a chance to tie the game and getting fouled.

“It’s really frustrating because you don’t know when someone’s going to foul,” Bookert said. “ You don’t know if you should shoot the ball and time it right to get into the shot so you get the call and a shooting foul. It’s just a hard situation.”

Bookert had a career high 23 points while adding 6 assists. Bookert was 6-8 from the field and 3-4 from deep.

Coach Krzyzewski was very impressed by the way Bookert played.

“Bookert had a sensational game for Florida State,” Krzyzewski said. “Bookert was outstanding today.”

Montay Brandon and Jarquez Smith were both in double digits as well. Center Michael Ojo didn’t have a great night on offense scoring just 1 point, but he did have 9 rebounds and limited the shot selection Okafor had during the game.

Coach Hamilton attributed it to Ojo having a legitimate center to play against.

“Michael is a very good low post defender,” Hamilton said. “Because of the way they use Okafor it was a different type of matchup than what Mike is accustomed to. He’s been chasing around 6’8 guys that are shooting threes and driving the ball to the basket. It’s the first time in a long time he’s been matched up with a legitimate low post center.”

This isn’t the result Florida State wanted, but It does help the Seminoles build momentum going into the next couple games where they desperately need wins. The Noles travel to Atlanta to play Georgia Tech on Saturday, February 14th in what has become a must win game if they want to make a postseason tournament.

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