TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Mike Krzyzewski has seen how this grueling stretch has affected his Duke team: three wins in six days.
And he has also seen the Blue Devils go from struggling in Atlantic Coast Conference play after back-to-back losses to North Carolina State and Miami in mid-January to winning eight of their last nine.
“My team has been through the ringer,” Krzyzewski said after No. 4 Duke held off Florida State 73-70 on Monday night. “They’ve come out pretty well. Winning all but one of those. We have to get a little bit refreshed right now.”
Duke deserves the break. Especially after a close call against Florida State.
Quinn Cook scored a season-high 26 points and Jahlil Okafor was 5 of 5 from the floor in the second half and finished with 13 points against Florida State. Tyus Jones added 16 points, 12 assists and six rebounds for Duke (21-3, 8-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), which won its fourth straight.
But this one came with some last-minute drama.
Florida State pulled within one at 70-69 as Xavier Rathan-Mayes drove the lane for a layup after dribbling under the basket with 11 seconds to go. But the Seminoles couldn’t close the gap any further in the final seconds.
Devon Bookert scored a career-high 23 points for FSU (13-12, 5-7 ACC). Bookert shot 6 of 8, but was fouled twice in the closing seconds before he was able to get a shot off.
Bookert made just 1 of 4 free throws in the final seconds, including a last attempt that he intentionally missed but Cook rebounded.
“Like most great teams, they found a way to counter every surge that we made,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said.
While the Seminoles kept Okafor in check in the first half, holding him to just two points on a pair of free throws in eight minutes, he broke out in the second half.
He had eight points in less than three minutes early in the second half, the last one an emphatic dunk to put Duke ahead 40-29 with 17:14 left in the game.
Okafor has scored in double figures in 24 straight games, breaking Johnny Dawkins’ record for the longest scoring streak by a Blue Devils freshman.
Duke shot 23 of 51 (45.1 percent) from the floor, bouncing back after opening 0 for 8 from the floor.
“We didn’t start out well,” Krzyzewski said. “Our guys are a little bit burned out. Thank goodness that they responded.”
Montay Brandon added 12 points for FSU, all in the second half. The Seminoles shot 24 of 53 (45.3 percent) from the floor.
Michael Ojo had a career-high nine rebounds and three blocks for the Seminoles.
Duke: Amile Jefferson hurt his head in the opening minutes Monday and finished with just three rebounds.
Florida State: Rathan-Mayes scored three points on 1-of-5 shooting in the first half. He finished with five points, an assist and six turnovers.
A MOMENT TO REMEMBER
A moment of silence was held before Monday’s game in honor of former University of North Carolina coach Dean Smith. The legendary coach, who died Sunday at 83, was remembered for his class and his contributions to the ACC. Smith won 879 games overall and was the Tar Heels’ coach from 1961-97, winning NCAA titles in 1982 and 1993.
Duke routed Notre Dame on Saturday by making 17 of 21 shots from the floor in the first half. But on Monday, the Blue Devils missed their first eight attempts from the floor against Florida State. Duke bounced back to finish 12 of 25 (48 percent) from the floor in the first 20 minutes.
Duke will play at Syracuse on Saturday.
Florida State will travel to Georgia Tech on Saturday.
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