Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Sports NewsMayfield's Mutterings: Illini adventure continues

No. 2 Duke rallies past N.C. State 73-56

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[January 21, 2009]  DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Gerald Henderson scored 21 points and No. 2 Duke pulled away late to beat North Carolina State 73-56 on Tuesday night.

Nolan Smith hit consecutive 3-pointers 30 seconds apart to start the decisive run for the Blue Devils (17-1, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference). They closed the game on a 27-5 run and shot 76 percent in the second half.

Kyle Singler had 14 of his 17 points in the second half and Smith finished with 13 to help Duke overcome a horrible start.

Brandon Costner and Ben McCauley both scored 15 points for the Wolfpack (10-6, 1-3), who led for much of the way but hit just one field goal over the final 7:45 minutes.

InsuranceThat cold spell helped Duke claim its 12th straight victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium over N.C. State, which hasn't won inside the Blue Devils' famously hostile arena since 1995.

That streak was in serious jeopardy for a while, though -- until Smith and the rest of the Blue Devils heated up.

The second of Smith's two big 3s made it 52-49 with 9 1/2 minutes left, put Duke up to stay and started the game-ending burst in which the Blue Devils came away with points on eight straight possessions.

Tracy Smith temporarily kept things tight when he hit the second of two layups with just under 8 minutes remaining -- but the Wolfpack managed just one field goal the rest of the way in losing for the fourth time in five games.


Jon Scheyer's 3-pointer from the right corner with 2:15 remaining gave Duke its first double-figure lead of the game, 67-56. That turned what had been a close game into another blowout. Nine of the Blue Devils' 11 wins at home this season have come by double figures.

Duke shot nearly 51 percent overall and became the seventh team to make at least 40 percent of its shots against N.C. State -- which fell to 2-5 in those games.

Duke's hot second half was a stark contrast to the opening 20 minutes -- for both teams.

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The Wolfpack withstood one of their worst starts of the season -- roughly 7 minutes elapsed before their first field goal -- and took their first lead on McCauley's left-handed layup over 7-footer Brian Zoubek with 3 1/2 minutes left.

N.C. State led 26-22 at halftime after holding the Blue Devils to less than 30 percent shooting. The Blue Devils trailed at the half for the third time this season -- and for the teams' third straight meeting -- but rallied to send the Wolfpack to their 12th loss in 13 games against ACC teams dating to last season.

[Associated Press; By JOEDY McCREARY]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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