Sunday, May 27, 2018
Sports

No. 15 Florida State Seminoles fall 74-66 to No. 5 Duke Blue Devils

TALLAHASSEE — The Duke system is simple: Austin Rivers drives into the lane or one of his teammates shoots a 3-pointer. And in Thursday's matchup of two of the top teams in the ACC, that's what the No. 5 Blue Devils did.

They took 28 of their 52 shots from behind the arc and connected on 13 to beat No. 15 Florida State 74-66.

"That's a team playing to their strength," said Seminoles coach Leo­nard Hamilton, whose team won 76-73 in Durham on Jan. 21. "When you can spot up 3-4 guys that are capable of knocking down 3s … that offensive system was difficult for us to defend."

With the win, Duke (24-4, 11-2 ACC) tied North Carolina for first in the league and clinched a first-round bye in the conference tournament. FSU (19-8, 10-3) sits a game behind.

Each team has three games left. But with North Carolina and Duke meeting in the finale, FSU still has a chance for its first regular-season title. The Semi­noles play at Miami on Sunday.

Duke's sharpshooters took their turn hurting the Seminoles.

Initially, it was Andre Dawkins. He made four 3-pointers in a span of three minutes of the first half (and made all three free throws after drawing a foul on a 3-point attempt) to put the Blue Devils up 26-17. Dawkins finished 6-for-9 from 3-point range and scored a game-high 22.

When FSU cut the deficit to three on three occasions in the second half, Seth Curry and Ryan Kelly buried deep shots.

Rivers, who scored 20, made four 3-pointers. And when the freshman point guard threatened to penetrate the lane, FSU's defense collapsed, leaving at least one shooter open outside.

"They played us like an instrument. They sucked us in, and then they kicked out," said FSU senior forward Bernard James, who had 13 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots.

"They weren't particularly hurting us inside. We didn't make that adjustment to not help (on defense) so much. Pretty much every time we did, they either got a corner, kickout 3 or were able to get one on the wing."

A 12-of-22 performance from the free-throw line hindered FSU's ability to take advantage of its dominant interior offense. And Michael Snaer, the Seminoles' leading scorer whose 3-pointer at the buzzer won the teams' first meeting, sat out the last 9:49 of the first half after committing his second foul.

Hamilton, whose team made just 4-of-15 3-pointers, credited the Blue Devils defense, which was once a weakness, for keeping the Seminoles out of rhythm.

After the game, as he was repeatedly asked to analyze minutia of the game, Hamilton kept returning to the same thought: Duke is a good team.

Blue Devils coach Mike Krzy­zewski said the same about the Seminoles.

"I love Leonard," Krzyzewski said.

"He and his staff, every year, they're just so sound. And this year, I just think they have a little bit more magic."

Comments
Rays bats come alive with six-run rally to beat Orioles 8-3

Rays bats come alive with six-run rally to beat Orioles 8-3

ST. PETERSBURG — If you think the Rays are holding their pitching staff together with baling wire, duct tape and an overbooked shuttle to Triple-A Durham, a bigger story might be how their bats keep producing runs no matter who is swinging them...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
For starters: Rays RHP Sergio Romo opens the game for the second time in 48 hours vs. Orioles

For starters: Rays RHP Sergio Romo opens the game for the second time in 48 hours vs. Orioles

ST. PETERSBURG – Speaking of openers, the Rays will start RHP Sergio Romo (1-1, 4.66 ERA) for the fourth time this season, the second time in 48 hours vs. the Orioles. The 35-year-old Romo did not make it out of the first inning Friday, allowin...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rays journal: After Alex Colome trade, Rays’ closer situation is fluid, Kevin Cash says

Rays journal: After Alex Colome trade, Rays’ closer situation is fluid, Kevin Cash says

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays have had to get creative in how they start games. Now, after Friday's trade of closer Alex Colome, they might have to get creative in how they finish them.How they handle the ninth inning going forward will be a fluid ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegas’ birth-to-best story?

Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegas’ birth-to-best story?

What in the name of the 0-26 Bucs is going on here?The breathtaking Vegas Golden Knights are the greatest expansion team in professional sports history. They are the best (or worst) thing to ever happen to our games, having won 51 times during the re...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Rays pitchers Ryne Stanek, Anthony Banda dominate in 5-1 win over Orioles

Rays pitchers Ryne Stanek, Anthony Banda dominate in 5-1 win over Orioles

THE BASEBALL LABORATORY IN ST. PETERSBURG — Up is down. Down is up. Hello is goodbye. Goodbye is hello. A reliever is a starter. A starter is a reliever.These are your 2018 Tampa Bay Rays.You never know what's going to happen. And just when you...
Published: 05/26/18
Updated: 05/27/18
Former Bucs QB Josh Freeman says he’s retiring from football

Former Bucs QB Josh Freeman says he’s retiring from football

Former Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman, who was trying to resurrect his career with the CFL's Montreal Alouettes, said Saturday that he is retiring from football.Freeman, 30, was a first-round draft pick of the Bucs in 2009 and was their starting ...
Published: 05/26/18
Thomas Bassinger’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Orioles game

Thomas Bassinger’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Orioles game

Interesting decision by the Rays to start RH reliever Ryne Stanek on Saturday. The Orioles' Nos. 1 through 5 hitters were righties, and Stanek came in allowing a 1.228 OPS against righties and a .592 OPS against lefties. It ended up working.How ...
Published: 05/26/18
RAYSREPORT

RAYSREPORT

Today: vs. Orioles1:10, Tropicana FieldTV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)Tickets: $15-$275; available at Tropicana Field, raysbaseball.com, surcharge of up to $5 within five hours of gamePromotion: Raymond children’s book for kids 14 ...
Published: 05/26/18
Rays Tales: What the trade of Alex Colome and Denard Span leads to next

Rays Tales: What the trade of Alex Colome and Denard Span leads to next

The reality of Friday's surprising trade of Alex Colome and Denard Span to Seattle is, of course, between the extremes.One side is screaming this is the latest proof the Rays are driven more to pocket money than winning games (and, for the loudest, o...
Published: 05/26/18

For starters: Rays vs. Orioles; Ryne Stanek makes first start, Carlos Gomez returns

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays' bullpenning experiment continues, with right-hander Ryne Stanek to open this afternoon's game against the Orioles at Tropicana Field. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10.It is the first career start for Stanek, who has ...
Published: 05/26/18