FSU star: Beating Duke ‘personal’ year after trip

FSU’s Rathan-Mayes has been waiting for Allen ‘for a long time’ (0:39)

Florida State’s Xavier Rathan-Mayes has been waiting “a long time” to play Duke’s Grayson Allen again after he was tripped by the Blue Devils guard last season. Rathan-Mayes admitted the rematch was personal for him. (0:39)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — For Florida State junior guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes, the Seminoles’ 88-72 win over No. 7-ranked Duke on Tuesday was about so much more than securing the program’s first 12-game win streak. It was about avenging last season’s tripping incident involving Blue Devils junior guard Grayson Allen.

“This one was personal for me. Ever since he did that, I’ve been waiting a long time to see him again,” Rathan-Mayes, who led the Noles with 21 points, said of Allen. “It was good to finally see him again.”

It was Allen’s first road game since his one-game suspension that came after tripping another player, Elon guard Steven Santa Ana, on Dec. 21, for his third such tripping incident in a 10-month span. Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski’s one-game punishment was widely criticized for being too lenient. That scrutiny only intensified after Duke defeated Boston College 93-82 on Saturday and Allen appeared to possibly trip Eagles forward Connar Tava.

A statement issued by the ACC stated, “There is nothing conclusive that can be determined” as to whether Allen intentionally made contact with Tava’s leg or foot.

“He’s a great player, but some of the things that he’s done — it is what it is,” Rathan-Mayes said of Allen.

Every time Allen touched the ball or lined up at the free throw line on Tuesday, he heard thunderous boos. There was a sign likening him to a toddler. Another mocked him for being stripped of his captaincy. He mustered nine points with five assists and three turnovers.

Duke interim head coach Jeff Capel said he didn’t believe Allen was affected by the hostile environment.

“I don’t think what other people say, chant or do wears on him that much,” Capel said. “The kid has been through a lot — he brought a lot of it on himself, but some of the things that have happened are just crazy.

“I am not talking about the chanting; that stuff happens on the road with a really good crowd, and they had a really great crowd tonight. But I don’t think that wore on him. I think Florida State’s defense and their relentless pressure did.”

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