The Belmont game last year let everyone know that Gerald Henderson had the potential to be an elite college basketball player. Once again Henderson provided Duke with an elite performance to let them get out of Tallahassee alive.
The score might not have been as close as the Belmont game, but FSU was really threatening at the worse possible time. And much like the entire game Henderson was answering the call. He had practically every point in the first half for Duke and when they needed it most, Henderson delivered with clutch mid range jumpers and the free throws to finally put it away. He finished with a career high, 29 points, and one of the best alley-opp dunks I have ever seen. How many people even in the NBA could have finished that play?
This game was one of the most physical this season. And winning on the road against FSU has been a little tough for Duke in the past. The first half score, 19-14, looked sloppy however it was based on two teams playing very solid defense. Either team never really got out of control with the physicality, which can sometimes happen in the ACC.
The push that would eventually lead Duke to victory was the amazing start to the second half, in which Duke finally flexed their offensive muscle and stormed out to hefty double digit lead. The real concern shared by all fans this Monday is why Duke’s defense and offense took time off, and let a blow-out become a nail biter. Coach K was visible upset with their lack of fire while holding a big lead. However, it is kind of poetic that Gerald had to be called on to finally put this away, and he answered the call.
No matter what happened in this game, the one great thing to take away is that Duke gets a road victory in the conference. The boys from Chapel Hill can tell you that even a win is hard to come by in this conference.