Blog Entry

Duke erases late 20-point deficit vs. NC State

Posted on: February 17, 2012 12:00 am
Edited on: February 17, 2012 12:15 am

By Jeff Borzello

NC State blew a 20-point lead in the final 11:33 vs. Duke. Mark Gottfried sums up State's feelings. (US Presswire)

It looked like another bubble team was ready to come into Cameron Indoor Stadium and knock off Duke. It looked like the Blue Devils were prepared to lose their third game at home this season. It looked like North Carolina State was heading to the NCAA tournament.

And now? Well now, none of that is happening yet.

Duke came back from a 20-point deficit in the final 11:33 to beat the Wolfpack, 78-73. The Blue Devils simply kept coming back. It was a 13-0 run that turned into a 20-3 run that turned into a 37-12 run. In that span, Duke outscored NC State by 25, missed just six shots -- and didn't commit a single turnover.

North Carolina State was completely rattled down the stretch. And it wasn’t just one person. Lorenzo Brown stepped out of bounds, C.J. Leslie committed a bad foul, Richard Howell bumped Austin Rivers 40 feet from the basket.

The final possession was a microcosm of the final 10 minutes for NC State. Down by three with 25 seconds left, the Wolfpack – instead of going for a quick two and then fouling to extend the game – decided to look for Scott Wood going off screens behind the 3-point arc. And that was it. When Duke’s Tyler Thornton stayed with Wood throughout the possession, the Wolfpack had no options. Brown took a desperation 3-pointer with seven seconds left and Seth Curry – who scored 21 of his 26 points in the second half – iced the game with two free throws.

This was North Carolina State’s game. A win at Cameron Indoor, and the Wolfpack would have the inside track to finishing fourth in the ACC – and likely getting an NCAA tournament berth. Their resume – which also includes wins over bubblers Miami (Fl.) and Texas – would have compared favorably to nearly every other team on the fence. When Duke missed 11 of its first 12 shots, including its first nine 3-pointers, everything seemed to be going according to plan.

NC State fought everything to keep the lead. They fought off the initial comebacks by Duke, they fought off foul trouble, they fought off turnovers.

But they couldn’t fight off Duke’s final run. 


Since: Feb 17, 2012
Posted on: February 17, 2012 11:58 pm

Duke erases late 20-point deficit vs. NC State

I think your coach summed it up in his post-game interview ... State got the huge lead by being "really aggressive."  Unfortunately, aggression translates to fouls and, if you keep your starters in, to disqualifications. State just isn't deep enough this year to withstand foul trouble.  Really, the fouls were called relatively equally (24 for State and 21 for Duke), but some of your foul trouble could have been averted. Williams bagged 5 fouls in 12 minutes of playing time which suggests that he was simply too hyped on D.  Leslie and Howell had fairly inexplicable fifth fouls, Howell bumping Rivers 40 feet from the basket as Rivers dribbled east-west (why??).  The bottom line is, you played a very aggressive game and your strategy almost worked -- heck, SHOULD have worked -- but the disqualifications were a predictable outcome of that strategy.  You have an impressive team though and will be a problem for anyone in Atlanta.  And let me wish you best of luck against FSU and UNC! 

Since: Dec 13, 2011
Posted on: February 17, 2012 10:51 am

Duke erases late 20-point deficit vs. NC State

A State would would have been nice for IU's RPI. Either way, Gottfried is going to build a heck of a team at NC State. Really think he's got what it takes to turn them back around starting with next year's recruiting class.

Since: Sep 19, 2008
Posted on: February 17, 2012 10:09 am

Duke erases late 20-point deficit vs. NC State

I love how CBS just happens to leave out the fact that we had three starters on the bench with four fouls during this second half run and all three eventually fouled out of the game.

This loss wasn't entirely on the refs but Duke was in the bonus 5 minutes into the second half.  Hard to sustain against a top 10 team when you have three starters on the bench and the other team in the bonus.

Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: February 17, 2012 8:55 am

Duke erases late 20-point deficit vs. NC State

Wow. I saw the score of this game about 3 minutes into 2nd half and thought it was over.

Since: Nov 24, 2008
Posted on: February 17, 2012 8:47 am

Duke erases late 20-point deficit vs. NC State

I agree where is the Wolfpacks Red and White uniforms. That is our true colors. What happened to this game?

Since: Jan 21, 2010
Posted on: February 17, 2012 8:15 am

Duke erases late 20-point deficit vs. NC State

What is State doing in those ugly black uniforms?

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