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.
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Freshman Marvin Bagley III had 32 points and a season-best 21 rebounds, and No. 4 Duke pulled away to beat No. 24 Florida State 100-93 on Saturday.
Freshman Wendell Carter Jr. added 14 points and a season-high 16 rebounds, Grayson Allen scored 22 points and Trevon Duval scored 11 of his 16 in the second half for the Blue Devils (13-1, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference).
Phil Cofer scored a career-high 28 points and Braian Angola finished with a career-best 23 for the Seminoles (11-2, 0-1). Angola’s 3-pointer with just under 4 minutes remaining put them up 91-89, but they missed their final eight shots — six of which came from long range.
Duval and Carter teamed to make several key plays down the stretch for the Blue Devils. Duval hit a twisting layup that tied it at 93 with about 3 minutes left, then found an uncovered Carter underneath a possession later for the go-ahead dunk.
Carter — playing with four fouls — then drew a key charge on Trent Forrest on Florida State’s next trip downcourt and Duval hit on another drive two possessions later to make it 97-93 and make it a two-possession game to stay.
BIG PICTUREFlorida State: The Seminoles received no favors from the ACC’s schedule-maker. They could open league play with three straight losses yet still have a strong case for a Top 25 ranking because their first three league opponents are Duke, No. 13 North Carolina and No. 15 Miami. They put themselves in position for their second victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium in the past decade — but it slipped away during that untimely cold spell.
Duke: The nation’s fourth-ranked team is no longer in the ACC’s cellar, but had to work awfully hard to escape it. The Blue Devils struggled from long range, shooting just 26.7 percent from beyond the arc, but two big freshmen dominated inside again, helping Duke build a 53-35 rebounding advantage and score 56 points in the paint.
UP NEXTFlorida State: Continues its challenging start to conference play Wednesday night by playing host to the 13th-ranked Tar Heels.
Duke: Makes the short trip to Raleigh to face North Carolina State on Jan. 6.