Duke opens big early lead in downing N.C. StateBy The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Thu, Feb 7, 2013 11:31 PM EST
DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke rode hot first-half shooting to a large lead and went on to defeat North Carolina State 98-85 in an Atlantic Coast Conference game on Thursday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mason Plumlee scored 30 points for the fourth-ranked Blue Devils, who avenged what was then their first loss of the season last month. Duke's Seth Curry scored 18 of his 26 points in the first half and Quinn Cook ended up with 21 points. Richard Howell, who fouled out with 3:41 left on an offensive foul, scored 23 points to lead five N.C. State players in double figures. The Wolfpack trailed by 22 points three minutes into the second half but closed to 84-75 with 4 1/2 minutes left. Quinn Cook hit a jumper for Duke before Howell fouled out on the next possession. The Wolfpack had a possession to cut a 91-82 deficit, but Plumlee blocked C.J. Leslie's shot. N.C. State (16-8, 5-5), the preseason ACC favorite, lost its third game in a row and dropped into sixth place. The Woflpack hasn't won at Duke since the 1994-95 season. Duke (20-2, 7-2), which improved to 12-0 at home this season, reached the 20-win mark for the 17th consecutive season and for the 29th time in 33 seasons under Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski. The Wolfpack, which last year was unable to hold a 20-point lead when visiting Duke, was within 76-64 with slightly less than 10 minutes to play. N.C. State's previous four ACC losses came by a combined seven points. Howell's point total was his highest in an ACC game. His previous best was 18 points last year at Duke. Leslie added 16 points for N.C. State. Duke poured in 10 shots from 3-point range in the first half in shooting to a 58-37 halftime lead. Guard Quinn Cook was 4 of 4 on first-half 3s. The Blue Devils hit seven of its first 11 attempts from 3-point range in taking a 41-21 lead with seven minutes left. The Wolfpack scored the next eight points. Earlier, Duke built a 25-6 edge as N.C. State went through a stretch of missing 11 shots in a row before Scott Wood drained a 3-pointer. Duke freshman Rasheed Sulaimon, who was 0 of 10 in the first meeting with N.C. State, converted a three-point play on the game's first possession. He hit a 3-pointer on Duke's next possession as part of the Blue Devils' 11-2 opening burst. Sulaimon's second 3-pointer created a 16-5 edge. Cook picked up his second foul barely 2 1/ 2 minutes into the game, but he returned to heat up from the perimeter. N.C. State forward Richard Howell was stuck with his second foul with 14:06 left in the first half. NOTES: N.C. State point guard Lorenzo Brown, the ACC's active leader in career assists with 494, missed his second game in a row with an ankle injury. He had a streak of 59 consecutive starts end when he didn't play Saturday against Miami. ... Duke played without junior forward Josh Hairston, who was a starter and scored eight points in the first meeting with N.C. State. Hairston, who had played in all 21 previous games this season, developed an infection from a cut on his right arm sustained during last week's game at Wake Forest. He played Saturday at Florida State, then the problem apparently arose. ... Duke senior forward Ryan Kelly, who's out indefinitely with a foot injury, sat out both games against his hometown team this season. He's from Raleigh. ... This marked the seventh time in a row that Duke was ranked in the top 5 when N.C. State visited. ... Duke has been ranked in the top 10 for 107 consecutive weeks. Sunday night's game at Boston College will mark the 200th in a row for the Blue Devils as a member of the top 10.
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