In what was one of this season’s most anticipated and most exciting games in the ACC, the Florida State Seminole’s swept passed the Duke University Blue Devils. With an 88-72 score over one of the nation’s toughest basketball teams, the Seminoles electrified their spirited fans, and drew extended attention to the university’s flourishing basketball program.
For starters, student tickets for this game sold out. As starters, forward Johnathan Isaac, center Michael Ojo, and guards Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Dwayne Bacon, and Terance Mann dominated the court. “Leonard Hamilton used 12 different players, 10 of whom scored at least two points,” reads a post-game article from Seminoles.com. At the conclusion of the game, the ‘Noles led 21-4 in bench points.
Most of the game, the ‘Noles dominated with anywhere from a few free throws to a few minutes’ worth of baskets. The Blue Devils managed to tie the score occasionally, but not for long. Florida State averaged 53% in field goals, and with memorable three-pointers from the ‘Noles occurring minutes away from one another, Duke relied on free-throws to put *some* points on the board. They succeeded in this, but while the Blue Devils made points on the line, the ‘Noles made theirs behind it. PJ Savoy’s three in the first half, as well as Rathan-Mayes’ excellent jumper energized both the team and its audience.
The game on Tuesday for most of the players remained focused on playing polished basketball, but for Xavier Rathan-Mayes, it was a bit more “personal”. “Ever since he did that, I’ve been waiting a long time to see him again,” said the guard in an article from ESPN. The “him” being the Blue Devils’ Grayson Allen, who was booed every time he handled the ball. The “that” in which Rathan-Mayes is speaking of is a so described as a “tripping incident”, and not the only one that Allen has had. “He’s a great player, but some of the things that he’s done – it is what it is,” responds Rathan-Mayes.
Florida State proved to on their game while playing Duke, and the stats support the results. Aside from turnovers, which interestingly led to more missed opportunities for the Blue Devils, Florida State rounded up 38 rebounds, 15 assists, beat Duke by one extra in steals, and maintained both consistent offensive and defensive play to secure their victory.
“We’re trying to take this one game at a time and not trying to get too caught up in the moment,” says coach Leonard Hamilton in a Bleacher Report article. Florida State faces Notre Dame tomorrow night at 7:00PM.
By AMANDA NEPPL / Staff Writer