Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Jackson Scores 22 as No. 17 Duke Beats No. 15 FSU With Mohamed Bamba Watching
By JOEDY McCREARYDURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Freshman Frank Jackson scored a season-best 22 points and No. 17 Duke beat No. 15 Florida State 75-70 on Tuesday night.
Amile Jefferson, playing in his final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium, added 14 points and 11 rebounds while Luke Kennard finished with 17 points for the Blue Devils (23-7, 11-6 Atlantic Coast Conference).
Jayson Tatum added 15 points for Duke, which held Florida State 14 points below its scoring average to snap a two-game losing streak that cost the Blue Devils a top-10 ranking.
Duke’s victory came with 6-foot-11 uncommitted big man Mohamed Bamba of Westtown (PA) and the PSA Cardinals sitting behind the Blue Devils bench. The projected No. 3 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Bamba has now taken officials to Duke, Kentucky, Texas and Michigan and is expected to decide sometime in March or April.
Dwayne Bacon scored 19 points and Xavier Rathan-Mayes had 15 for the Seminoles (23-7, 11-6), who had their two-game winning streak snapped.
Florida State pulled to 71-63 on Bacon’s free throw with 2:23 to play before Tatum countered with a jumper to put Duke up by 10 points.
Jackson then rebounded Jonathan Isaac’s missed 3-pointer and Duke went to work on the clock, with Tatum grabbing a key rebound of his own miss to help the Blue Devils keep the ball away from the Seminoles until there were about 50 seconds remaining.
Jackson helped Duke build a 19-point lead by scoring 13 points in the first 4 1/2 minutes of the second half, taking the game over with three 3-pointers in that span. That included a heat-checker over the 6-foot-10 Isaac that made it 49-30 with about 15 1/2 minutes left.
BIG PICTUREFlorida State: At least the Seminoles won’t have to worry about any more road games. They fell to 3-6 in league road games, trailing all but one of them at halftime and falling behind by at least 15 points in each of the six defeats. They won’t break the program record of 12 ACC victories — the best they can do is tie it.
Duke: The Blue Devils didn’t ask much of key guard Grayson Allen, who missed the Miami loss three days earlier with a lingering left ankle injury. Allen played just 16 minutes and finished with a season-low two points on 1-of-3 shooting, two rebounds and no assists.
Allen and Rathan-Mayes got themselves tangled for the second straight year at Cameron. With about 8 minutes to play, Rathan-Mayes missed a jumper in the lane and fell to the court, and as he went back up court, Allen appeared to trip over the Florida State guard’s right leg. The officials reviewed the play during a media timeout but did not call a foul. A year ago, Allen tripped Rathan-Mayes in the final seconds of Duke’s victory here, earning a reprimand from the ACC office.
UP NEXTFlorida State: Concludes the regular season Saturday at home against its top rival, No. 25 Miami.
Duke: Wraps up the regular season with its annual rivalry game at No. 5 North Carolina on Saturday night.
Photo: AP. Twitter photo: Wayne Gooch
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.