Florida State men's basketball knocks off No. 5 Duke in overtime thriller

·4 min read

There's just something about Florida State and overtime.

The FSU men's basketball did it again Tuesday night, shocking No. 5 Duke to win its 13th straight overtime game, extending its NCAA Division I record.

There was a familiar hero for the Seminoles as, for the second time in eight days, a pair of late free throws from RayQuan Evans turned a one-point deficit into a one-point lead.

John Butler got a block on the game-winning shot attempt for the Blue Devils and time expired as the ball went rolling far into the backcourt.

At the end of a heart-pounding back and forth overtime which was accompanied by six lead changes, FSU (11-5, 5-2 in ACC) came away with a 79-78 win over the Blue Devils (14-3, 4-2 in ACC) in front of a packed and raucous crowd at the Tucker Civic Center.

The win was accompanied by a court storming worthy of the battle the Seminoles won.

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Florida State's Malik Osborne celebrates with fans after the Seminoles upset the No. 5-ranked Duke Blue Devils.
Florida State's Malik Osborne celebrates with fans after the Seminoles upset the No. 5-ranked Duke Blue Devils.

Evans finished with just six points, but his final two will be remembered for years to come by FSU fans. Caleb Mills scored eight of his 18 points in overtime, hitting a pair of threes and accounting for two-thirds of the Seminoles' points in the extra period.

The Seminoles knocked off the Blue Devils despite shooting just 35.6% from the floor and 28% from three. Duke, by comparison, shot 49.1% from the floor and 43.5% from three.

Paolo Banchero led the Blue Devils with 20 points, 11 of which came in the final minutes of regulation and overtime.

The win snapped a five-game losing streak for FSU to the Blue Devils. It also moves the Seminoles ahead of Duke and North Carolina into second place in the ACC standings behind Miami, which is 6-1 in ACC play.

Some unnecessary sweat

While a win is definitely a win for the Seminoles, it looked like it was going to come far easier for FSU than it did.

With 2:55 left in regulation, the Seminoles led 65-59 before going cold over the final minutes.

FSU made just one of its eight shots over the final six minutes -- paving the way for a 8-0 Duke run to take the lead -- before Evans forced overtime with his layup off the glass with one second left.

It was a cold stretch that could have loomed large had the game ended differently but it will be forgotten quickly because of the Seminoles' strong finish.

Freshmen rise to the challenge

Ahead of the matchup with the Blue Devils, FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton challenged his first-year frontcourt players to rise to the occasion.

It's safe to say they did exactly that Tuesday night.

With a pair of first-year Division-I players in the starting lineup against Duke in forward John Butler and center Naheem McLeod, both made the most of the opportunity.

Butler was a perfect 3 of 3 from three-point range in the first half, leading the Seminoles with nine points at the break. He finished with a season-high 14 points.

McLeod, who entered the game with previous career highs of six points and four rebounds, soared past both those marks within the first few minutes of the second half.

He finished with nine points and seven rebounds, six of which were offensive rebounds.

Finding ways to win

While it wasn't a stellar shooting night for the Seminoles, they overcame this by dominating the Blue Devils in quite a few ways.

FSU won the rebounding battle 42-37 and had 19 offensive rebounds which it turned into 12 second-chance points. The Blue Devils had just seven offensive rebounds.

The Seminoles also forced 15 Duke turnovers while committing just five themselves. FSU has turned it over 10 or fewer times in four of its last five games.

Up next

This was the first game of what will be a very busy week for the Seminoles. They next play just over 36 hours after this game ended when they host North Florida Thursday at noon.

They close out their stretch of three games in five days Saturday at Miami in a battle of the top two teams in the ACC.

This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Duke upset by Florida State men's basketball in overtime