Duke Rolls Past State, 79-56

RALEIGH, N.C. – For the second time, Courtney Fells rose up for a two-handed slam only to watch the ball ricochet away. This time, in frustration, Fells held onto the rim and tried to bring the ball back to him – drawing a technical foul in the process.

  • Recap: Duke Rolls Past State, 79-56
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    "That was just indicative of today - two of them, he had two that he missed," coach Sidney Lowe said. "You just kind of say nothing is going right today."

    If it could go wrong for NC State, it did. Turnovers, bad shots, missed lay-ups and poor defense all added up to a 79-56 loss to No. 14 Duke on Saturday afternoon at the RBC Center.

    "We hurt ourselves in so many ways," Lowe said. "We missed a couple lay-ups, and I can deal with that. What I care about is the defensive end and covering the other team the way we should. Some of our guys didn't show up tonight and that was what upset me the most."

    Duke (16-3, 3-2 ACC) shot 52 percent for the game, and had just 11 turnovers while the Wolfpack (11-7, 1-4) shot 34 percent and had 20 turnovers. Sixteen of the Pack's turnovers came in the first half, and three different players had at least four giveaways.

    "It takes all the wind out of you when you see an ill-advised turnover," sophomore Ben McCauley said. "You think 'why did that happen?' - that shouldn't happen basically. They got some wide-open lay-ups and dunks and that took the air out of us."

    Brandon Costner led the Pack with 20 points and 10 rebounds, shooting just 4-of-10 but going 11-of-12 from the line. Fells was the only other play in double figures, with 13 points on 4-of-10 shooting. Duke had five players score in double figures, led by freshman Jon Scheyer who had 20 points.

    "We had too many guys that didn't really play well today," Lowe said. "It's unfortunate it was today, but you can't pick and choose when you want that to happen. We can't afford for one guy not to have a good game, so its really tough when we have a couple."

    The Pack played without point guard Engin Atsur, who remains sidelined with a pulled hamstring that the senior re-injured two weeks ago. Without Atsur, sophomore Courtney Fells started the game running the point – finishing with one assist and four turnovers.

    "Once I got to the arena, I knew he wasn't going to play," Lowe said. "I could see the frustration in his eyes yesterday and I had an idea then."

    The Blue Devils jumped on top of the Pack early, going on a 15-2 run at the start of the game. The two teams battled evenly for the bulk of the half, but Duke finished with a 11-3 run, as the Pack was forced to sit three starters who all had two fouls.

    "They came out and played as hard as they always do – that's Duke basketball," Gavin Grant said. "We just weren't ready, we didn't meet the competitiveness. We didn't play as hard as they did."

    State tried to go to McCauley early, but quickly got away from dumping it down to the versatile big man. As a result, McCauley finished with just nine points on 2-of-8 shooting, his worst scoring output since the third game of the season.

    "I thought Josh [McRoberts] did a good job on McCauley," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "They run their offense through him in the low post, and that opens up a lot of 3-point chances because he is such a good passer."

    State started the second half with a small run, cutting the lead down to twelve before the Fells technical foul sparked a 10-0 Duke run that effectively put the game away for the Blue Devils.

    The Pack shot even worse from the field in the second half, but kept the game respectable by getting to the line and converting. The team was 90 percent from behind the line, going 24-of-27 from the charity stripe.

    "Every team has just one of those days, every team has a down game," McCauley said. "Today was just an off day. We weren't hitting our shots, we weren't really converting inside. It seemed like Duke maybe wanted it more tonight.""

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