With the Blue Devils leading by three, 60-57, in the closing minutes of a hard-fought showdown between two of the best teams in the country, Cook drove into the lane, got past his defender and scored on a layup.
The crowd inside raucous Cameron Indoor Stadium went crazy and the Buckeyes never recovered.
Cook also hit six clutch free throws in the final 27 seconds to help seal the deal.
His overall performance wasn’t dazzling and his stat line is hardly one that is going to jump off the box score, but the sophomore guard from the famed Oak Hill Academy played a big role in the latest of a string of big wins for the second-ranked Blue Devils.
He finished his night with 12 points on 3-of-12 shooting from the field, bricking all three of his shots from beyond the arc. He also dished out seven assists.
But that layup by Cook in a make-or-break moment for the Blue Devils is all that really mattered. It energized Duke down the stretch and provided an extra shot of momentum against a fourth-ranked Buckeyes team that played hard until the clock struck zero.
Cook doesn’t get the attention of Mason Plumlee or Seth Curry, but his value to the Blue Devils does not come with a price tag.
He is one of those X-factors, the type of player who can come through in crunch time or deliver a big-time performance if necessary.
The unbeaten Blue Devils proved on Wednesday night that they are the real deal, and with someone like Cook on their side, they will have an opportunity to win a lot of big games down the road, including those that will be played in March.
Brian Lester is a featured Big Ten columnist and college basketball writer for Rant Sports. He is a member of the United States Basketball Writers Association as well.
Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993 or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.