Duke basketball has worst night possible in Tallahassee

Duke basketball forward Paolo Banchero (Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball forward Paolo Banchero (Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports) /

It was the worst possible night for the Duke basketball team in Tallahassee. 

Playing Florida State on the road is always a challenge, regardless of how well the Seminoles are playing, and the Donald Tucker Center was sold out for the arrival of the Duke basketball program on Tuesday night.

It was a back-and-forth first half that saw the No. 6 Blue Devils (14-3, 4-2 ACC) take a five-point lead into the break, but Duke never returned out of the locker room to start the second half.

The first nine points of the second half went to the Seminoles (11-5, 5-2 ACC) while Duke started the half 1-of-11 from the field.

Florida State’s lead continued to grow, and things got worse for the Blue Devils when freshman guard Trevor Keels went down with an awkward leg injury.

Keels remained on the court for several minutes as he initially did not put pressure on his leg. He was helped off the court but slowly began to put pressure on the injury.

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ESPN cameras near the Duke locker room caught Keels trying to run and return to the game, but the guard was in too much pain and returned to the bench in a warmup to watch the final minutes with a noticeable limp.

The Seminole lead grew to as many as nine, 59-50, with 5:57 to go in the second half before the Blue Devils slowly began to chip away, thanks to Paolo Banchero and Duke’s zone defense.

Banchero jumpstarted an 8-0 Duke run with 2:36 to play in regulation, which brought the Blue Devils from down four to up two with 31 seconds to play.

RayQuan Evans sent the game to overtime with an incredibly tough layup over Banchero and Mark Williams with two seconds on the clock.

Duke basketball luck in overtime not much better

Much like the second half, the two teams traded blows in the extra session until Evans put the Seminoles on top from the free throw line, 79-78, after drawing a blocking foul on Jeremy Roach with 12.4 seconds to play.

Instead of using a timeout, Mike Krzyzewski let his team bring the ball up the floor with Wendell Moore. Moore decided to take things into his own hands and drive to the rim and get blocked by John Butler. He then kicked the ball into the backcourt as time ran off the clock, and Florida State picked up its signature victory of the season over the Blue Devils.

The victory was stunningly the 13th straight overtime victory for Florida State, an all-time record in Division I men’s basketball.

Banchero led the Blue Devils with 20 points and 12 rebounds on 6-of-11 shooting, despite not having a field goal for the first 15 minutes of the second half, while Caleb Mills led Florida State with 18 points.

Duke will look to bounce back from its second conference loss on Saturday afternoon against the Syracuse Orange inside Cameron Indoor Stadium (12:00 p.m., ESPN2).

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