EditorsNote: 5th graf, two changes
Duke broke out of its doldrums with a sterling second half as the No. 12 Blue Devils defeated visiting North Carolina State 88-69 to avenge a recent defeat and snap a two-game losing streak Monday night in Durham, N.C.
Cassius Stanley scored 14 of his 18 in the second half and Vernon Carey Jr. had 17 points to pace Duke. Tre Jones added 15 points, Jordan Goldwire scored 11 and Wendell Moore Jr. and Justin Robinson each supplied 10 points in the team’s eighth victory in nine Atlantic Coast Conference home games.
Duke (24-6, 14-5 ACC) remained in contention for a share of first place with only Saturday night’s home game against North Carolina remaining.
Devon Daniels, Jericole Hellems and C.J. Bryce, before leaving with an injury with 2:56 to play, all tallied 14 points apiece for N.C. State. Markell Johnson and DJ Funderburk each posted 11 points for the Wolfpack (18-12, 9-10), which were seeking another boost to their NCAA Tournament credentials.
NC State drilled Duke 88-66 less than two weeks ago in Raleigh. Since then, the Wolfpack have gone 1-3, with only Saturday’s comeback against Pittsburgh in the win column.
Duke broke in front by 51-46 by scoring seven straight points. Then a trio of transition baskets, the last two punctuated by Stanley’s slams, stretched the lead to 63-52.
Duke had a 38-36 advantage at halftime after the Wolfpack led for more than 16 minutes of the first half and were up by as many as eight points.
NC State shot 50 percent from the field in the first half. That was offset by Duke’s 10 offensive rebounds.
The Blue Devils turned to a zone defense to help curtail some of the Wolfpack’s offensive efficiency.
Duke made only two of its first 15 shots from the field, but trailed only 11-7. Robinson, a reserve forward, hit a couple of 3-pointers to get the Blue Devils going and had a team-high eight points by the break.
Duke had nine turnovers in the first half.
—Field Level Media