NC State vs Duke

Duke's furious rally tops N.C. State


DURHAM, N.C. -- No deficit seems too deep these days for No. 5 Duke -- even if the Blue Devils insist they can't afford to keep winning this way.

For the second time in nine days, Duke staged a remarkable comeback to beat a neighborhood rival. This time they rallied from 20 points down with 11½ minutes left and topped North Carolina State 78-73 on Thursday night.

"I'm tired of doing this, to tell you the truth," freshman guard Austin Rivers said. "This is a great win, but we're exhausted, man. This is a weird win for us. I'm so proud and everybody's so proud, but at the same time, we need to stop doing this.

"To be down in 20 in Cameron should never happen," he said.

Seth Curry scored 21 of his season-high 26 points in the second half while Rivers added 16 points on 4-of-13 shooting for the slow-starting Blue Devils (22-4, 9-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who trailed by 16 points at the half -- the largest halftime deficit overcome by Duke under Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski.

"They thoroughly outplayed us for about 29 minutes," Krzyzewski said. "And then we thoroughly outplayed them for 11."

They did it with late rallies of 13-0 and 20-3 to erase that huge deficit and keep pace atop the league standings with No. 20 Florida State and No. 8 North Carolina. Last week, Duke stormed back from 10 points down in the final 2½ minutes to beat the Tar Heels.

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Lorenzo Brown scored 19 points to lead the Wolfpack (18-8, 7-4), who trailed 76-73 with the ball in the final seconds with a chance to force overtime.

But Brown missed a contested 3-pointer from the corner with about 7 seconds left, and Curry hit two free throws with 2.2 seconds to go to seal N.C. State's 14th straight loss at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

"We're a good team. We've got to find a way to become a little bit better," first-year coach Mark Gottfried said.

Alex Johnson scored a season-high 13 points, C.J. Leslie added 12 and Scott Wood had 10 for N.C. State, which led 61-41 on Brown's free throw with 11:33 left.

Then, the Blue Devils finally showed some life.

They started coming back by reeling off 11 straight points, with Curry hitting three free throws and Andre Dawkins knocking down a 3-pointer before Curry's jumper with 8:44 left made it 61-52 -- the first time Duke was within single digits since midway through the first half.

After DeShawn Painter put N.C. State up 68-56 with 6:10 left, the Blue Devils came up with their final surge.

Rivers started it with a 3-pointer and scored nine points during the burst. His deep 3-pointer with 2½ minutes left gave Duke its first lead, 72-71.

"It was just kind of the same thing I did versus Carolina," Rivers said of his buzzer-beating 3 that beat the Tar Heels.

Mason Plumlee added 10 rebounds for the Blue Devils, who denied the Wolfpack their first victory at Cameron since 1995 -- when Krzyzewski was out following back surgery. N.C. State hasn't beaten a Krzyzewski-coached team in Durham since 1988.

The Wolfpack played important stretches without key players who were stuck on the bench in foul trouble. Guard C.J. Williams managed just three points -- he averages 11 -- while playing just 12 minutes before fouling out. Two key members of N.C. State's front line -- Richard Howell and Leslie -- also fouled out.

"It made it difficult, and we lost our aggressiveness when we got so many guys in foul trouble," Gottfried said. "That hurt. We've got to do a better job of defending without fouling."

And things don't get much easier for the Wolfpack, who play host to the Seminoles on Saturday and the Tar Heels next Tuesday.

"You put in a whole week of work preparing for these guys and go up 16 at halftime and give it up, it's tough to swallow," Johnson said. "But Coach said it in the huddle. We've just got to let this one go and get ready for Saturday."

N.C. State seemed headed for its first big win under Gottfried after its impressive start. The Wolfpack dominated things early, leading by double figures for most of the first half after forcing Duke into some uncharacteristically cold shooting early.

Wood's free throw with 1:53 left stretched the lead to 19 points, and Brown's dunk over Ryan Kelly with 14 seconds left made it 46-30. Only Ohio State (47) had more points at halftime against Duke.

"Nobody quit. That's the biggest thing," Curry said. "Nobody thought we were going to lose any time in the game. That's the biggest thing about our team."

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Seth Curry puts Duke on his back, scoring 21 of his season-high 26 points in the second half. (US Presswire)
Seth Curry puts Duke on his back, scoring 21 of his season-high 26 points in the second half. (US Presswire)
North Carolina State (18-8)462773
Duke #5 (22-4) «304878
NCST:L. Brown 19 Pts
NCST:C. Leslie 9 Reb
NCST:L. Brown 5 Ast
DUKE:S. Curry 26 Pts
DUKE:M. Plumlee 10 Reb
DUKE:T. Thornton 3 Ast

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NC StateDuke
C.J. Leslie
Seth Curry
NC State Wolfpack
S. Wood, F391-77-1060310
L. Brown, G387-144-665019
C. Leslie, F256-160-090512
R. Howell, F233-51-37157
C. Williams, G121-21-11153
A. Johnson, G335-80-034313
D. Painter, C263-73-46129
T. de Thaey, F40-00-01010
K. Smith, FDid Not Play
J. Vandenberg, CDid Not Play
J. Lewis, GDid Not Play
S. Battle, GDid Not Play
T. Harris, FDid Not Play
J. Raymond, GDid Not Play
Totals 26-5916-2439122473
Duke Blue Devils
A. Rivers, G334-136-822216
S. Curry, G319-185-542126
M. Plumlee, F313-93-710129
M. Plumlee, F212-70-06114
T. Thornton, G180-10-00340
A. Dawkins, G273-71-24039
R. Kelly, F201-53-44146
J. Hairston, F92-42-21036
Q. Cook, G91-50-00112
M. Gbinije, G-F10-00-00000
T. Zafirovski, FDid Not Play
A. Murphy, FDid Not Play
M. Plumlee, FDid Not Play
Totals 25-6920-2831112178
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
N. Carolina4-215-42
Georgia Tech3-210-8140
Boston College3-313-664
NC State3-313-673
Notre Dame3-313-660
Miami (Fla.)2-313-422
Va. Tech2-313-585
Florida St.2-413-545
Wake Forest1-58-10132
Other games
VT 47 Final
Florida St 48
Wisc 55 Final
Mich St 69
GONZ 73 Final