No. 5 Duke Rallies To Beat NC State 78-73

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Seth Curry scored 21 of his season-high 26 points in the second half, and No. 5 Duke rallied from 20 points down with 11:33 to play and beat North Carolina State 78-73 on Thursday night.

Freshman Austin Rivers added 16 points on 4-of-13 shooting for the Blue Devils (22-4, 9-2 Atlantic Coast Conference). They used late rallies of 13-0 and 20-3 to erase that huge deficit and keep pace with No. 8 North Carolina and No. 20 Florida State atop the league standings.

Lorenzo Brown scored 19 points to lead the Wolfpack (18-8, 7-4), who trailed 76-73 with the ball in the final seconds with a chance to force overtime.

But Brown missed a contested 3-pointer from the corner with about 7 seconds left, and Curry hit two free throws with 2.2 seconds to go to seal N.C. State's 14th straight loss at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Alex Johnson scored a season-high 13 points, C.J. Leslie added 12 and Scott Wood had 10 for N.C. State, which led 61-41 on Brown's free throw with 11:33 left.

Then, the Blue Devils finally showed some life.

They started the comeback by reeling off 11 straight points, with Curry hitting three free throws and Andre Dawkins knocking down a 3-pointer. Curry's jumper with 8:44 left made it 61-52 -- the first time Duke was within single digits since midway through the first half.

After DeShawn Painter put N.C. State up 68-56 with 6:10 left, the Blue Devils came up with their final surge.

Rivers started it with a 3-pointer and scored nine points during the burst. His deep 3-pointer with 2 1/2 minutes left gave Duke its first lead, 72-71.

Mason Plumlee added 10 rebounds for the Blue Devils, who denied the Wolfpack their first victory at Cameron since 1995 -- when Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski was out following back surgery. N.C. State hasn't beaten a Krzyzewski-coached team in Durham since 1988.

Things don't get much easier for the Wolfpack, who play host to the Seminoles on Saturday and the Tar Heels next Tuesday.

N.C. State seemed headed for its first big win under first-year coach Mark Gottfried after its impressive start. The Wolfpack were simply dominant in the first half, leading by double figures for most of the way after forcing Duke into some uncharacteristically cold shooting early.

The Blue Devils missed 11 of their first 12 shots and came up empty on their first nine 3-point attempts, while the Wolfpack raced out to a big early lead and spent the rest of the half maintaining it.

Wood's free throw with 1:53 left stretched the to 19 points, and Brown's dunk over Ryan Kelly with 14 seconds left made it 46-30. Only Ohio State (47) had more points at halftime against Duke.

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  • by anonymous on Feb 17, 2012 at 12:28 PM
    If Duke had lost coach K would have to go out on some kind of health crisis. Funny to me in 1995 when he was out with his back had an 8-20 seasaon, none of those losses went on his record.
    • reply
      by Moderators Nightmare on Feb 17, 2012 at 01:38 PM in reply to anonymous
      If you don't like the rules then have them changed.
    • reply
      by rickyw on Feb 17, 2012 at 02:06 PM in reply to anonymous
      neither did any wins.whats that got to do with this year
  • by Pack girl on Feb 17, 2012 at 10:55 AM
    What a great game last night! State did a good job against duke by the looks of it the devils had a wolf breathing down their necks on the court
  • by Anonymous on Feb 17, 2012 at 08:00 AM
    FL State!!!
    • reply
      by Scott on Feb 17, 2012 at 02:50 PM in reply to
      Fla St will take a whopping this coming Sat, might as well keep plane running because the Seminoles going to get run out of town!
  • by Jess Location: Winterville on Feb 17, 2012 at 07:56 AM
    That sucked. I hate Duke. Go Pack.
  • by Chris on Feb 17, 2012 at 07:40 AM
    Another fall apart performance for the pack, dont think they will make the dance. Classic reffs at Cameron again in the 2nd half.
  • by Duke Fan on Feb 17, 2012 at 06:38 AM
    Crazy comeback victory for my blue devils. Curry and Rivers are so clutch. March is when it really counts and they better be ready to play. I'm hyped! LET'S GO DUKE!!!
    • reply
      by wolfpack83 on Feb 17, 2012 at 12:16 PM in reply to Duke Fan
      Yea, funny to me all of a sudden, the State players started getting all kinds of fouls called on them.
      • reply
        by Moderators Nightmare on Feb 17, 2012 at 01:39 PM in reply to wolfpack83
        As hard as they played in the first half, I'm not surprised. You get sloppy when you get tired.
  • by Disgusted Location: ENC on Feb 17, 2012 at 06:36 AM
    The pack had that game just about all the way through......what a shame. Dook got lucky again!
    • reply
      by just saying on Feb 17, 2012 at 12:23 PM in reply to Disgusted
      If it was not for their 3 point shooting ability, Duke wouldn't beat anybody. In 1995 all of a sudden coach K had back issues. Funny how those losses never went on his record.
  • by ABC Fan on Feb 17, 2012 at 06:07 AM
    Duke barely beat UNC. Are you saying that UNC is a "sub par" team also? But you are right, Duke's run at a championship will be cut short.
    • reply
      by ABC2 on Feb 17, 2012 at 09:45 AM in reply to ABC Fan
      Uhhh, when you win a game but your FG percentage is 38% yeah you're sub-par. You ain't playing anybody.
  • by Luis on Feb 17, 2012 at 05:32 AM
    The Blue devils are barely beating sub par teams. Looks like their run at a championship will be cut short this year.
    • reply
      by Duke Fan for Life on Feb 17, 2012 at 06:46 AM in reply to Luis
      There is absolutely nothing "sub par" about NCState. They are an excellant team and would say that at any point this year. They should have won, since Duke played like a high school team last night. Hold your head up Pack fans, they are a good team this year. Conference tourney time will prove that.
      • reply
        by c-had on Feb 17, 2012 at 02:20 PM in reply to Duke Fan for Life
        I appreciate your attitude as it shows your maturity and clarity of thought.I wish more fans would display real sportsmanship ans less stupidity.
  • by Wolf pac fan on Feb 17, 2012 at 05:23 AM
    Great disappointment. Who doesn't want to beat Duke at Cameron,
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