Duke star freshman Zion Williamson did not return to the second half of his team's game against the Florida State after sustaining an eye injury late in the first half.
Williamson was injured with 1:26 left in the first half when Florida State guard Trent Forrest gouged his face with his fingers, hitting him in both eyes while trying to defend the bigger Williamson. The freshman phenom exited the game after the poke. He came out in the second half - Nate [James, associate head coach] told me, with about three minutes to go - I wasn't out on the court yet; he ran back and said, 'Zion's got double vision.' And I said, 'Well, let's see.
It was a clutch shot at a critical moment for Duke, which hasn't had many close games this season and has won 13 of 14 games by 10 or more points. Phil Cofer got the rebound and tried to knock it out of bounds off a Duke player. Florida State took advantage inside with the big-bodied Williamson out, and the Seminoles made it their mission to score easy baskets in the paint. "They rose to a different occasion". And perhaps it was good for them to be able to lead the Blue Devils, with so much of the spotlight going to Williamson this season.
Williamson came out for second-half warmups and participated in the layup line.
The experience of winning in a hostile environment, without their best player, will serve Duke well as the season progresses.
"The good thing - he didn't have headaches", Krzyzewski said. "Whenever a kid hits a game victor like that, it's storybook".
Defense Makes StatementDuke enters the Florida State game as the only team in the top five of both offensive and defensive efficiency, and one of two teams in the top 10 for both (Virginia)... The Seminoles are 39-3 since November 2016 at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
The Duke Blue Devils needed someone to come up big if they wanted to take down the Florida State Seminoles on Saturday.
Even still, Terance Mann, M.J. Walker and Mfiondu Kabengele comprise a talented core that, on their home floor, could potentially push this Duke team a bit. This marks the fourth consecutive meeting in the series with each team ranked in the AP Top 25, and the lowest combined ranking (14) in the series since No. 2 Duke defeated No. 13 Florida State, 75-63, in Tallahassee on January 10, 1998. Duke is 4-1 vs. top-15 opponents this season.
Duke has little time to rest, playing host to Syracuse on Monday.
Florida State accustomed to being tested by ACC power Duke.
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