Freshman Kyle Singler added 19 points while DeMarcus Nelson and Gerald Henderson scored 18 each for the Blue Devils who will host Miami on Saturday before heading to Chapel Hill next week for what appears to be a showdown between two top five teams.
Lead by Gavin Grant's 16 first half points, NC State broke open a 19-19 tie with an 11-2 run to make it 30-21 with 6:03 remaining in the first half. The Wolfpack's lead probably would have been greater had it not been for Paulus who connected for 12 first half points including a pair of three pointers to keep his team within striking distance at intermission.
In the second half Duke shot a sizzling 66 percent from the floor including 7-of-11 from the perimeter, out-scoring their guests 30-10 in the first 10 minutes of the half to take a nine point lead on a Kyle Singler three pointer with 10:03 remaining. From there it was academic as the Blue Devils out-hustled, out-shot, and out-rebounded the Wolfpack, winning the battle of the boards 19-7.
"You can't play too much better than we did in the second half," coach Mike Krzyzewski said.
Grant finished with a career high 26 points while freshman J.J. Hickson added 14 points and 10 rebounds for NC State in the loss.