Blue Devils Drop 'Pack 86-74

Midway through the first half it seemed as though Duke was destined to see its 11 game winning streak stopped at the hand of the NC State. The Wolfpack were clearly the better team in the opening stanza, and looked to be moving in for the kill. Yet at halftime it was a close game. After intermission, Duke once again found a way to win.

Shelden Williams scored 18 of his game high 22 points in the second half as Duke rallied from as many as 10 down in the first half to win its 12th straight game, 86-74 over North Carolina State.

Despite winning 18 of the last 21 games in the series, Duke hadn't won in Raleigh in two years. It looked like NC State would make it three straight early on as Cameron Bennerman ignited the crowd with a thunderous dunk over Williams on a personal seven point run that put his team up early.

The lead would swell to 10 on an Engin Astur three pointer from the corner. Up to that point the Wolfpack's defensive pressure had Duke out of sync offensively, forcing seven steals and nine first half turnovers.

After a timeout, Duke got an unexpected lift from Lee Melchionni, who scored five quick points as the Blue Devils reeled off a 9-2 spurt to cut the lead to three. The teams would trade baskets the rest of the way and head to the break with State up just 41-38.

Melchionni finished with a career high 16 point before fouling out late in the second half.

After intermission, the Blue Devils began to find Williams on the offensive end where the 6'9 junior was too much for any of State's interior defenders. After connecting on just two field goals in the first 20 minutes, he found his rhythm, scoring 7-of-10 second half baskets.

Without Shavlik Randolph in the lineup, Williams had help from the backcourt on the boards as J.J. Redick chipped in with a career high seven rebounds, while freshman DeMarcus Nelson added four along with Daniel Ewing. Williams, the ACC's leading rebounder, finished with just six boards.

Nelson added 15 points, while Redick was held to a season low eight points – marking the only time this year he's failed to reach double figures. Also struggling from the field was Daniel Ewing, who logged 17 points on just 4-of-12 shooting from the field including 2-of-7 from three-point land.

The Blue Devils tied it at 48 early in the second half before Ewing found Williams inside to put Duke ahead for good at 50-49 with 13:38 remaining. Duke would score on their next seven possessions, beginning with a Melchionni three to build a comfortable margin. NC State would get no closer than four points the rest of the way.

The Devils Den Top Stories