Wolfpack hand No.1 Duke first loss of the season
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - C.J. Leslie posted 25 points as 20th-ranked North Carolina State knocked No. 1 Duke from the ranks of the unbeaten with an 84-76 decision on Saturday afternoon.
Richard Howell dropped in 16 points with a game-high 18 rebounds for the Wolfpack (14-2, 3-0 ACC), who beat their conference rivals for the first time in nearly three years.
Scott Wood had 14 points and Lorenzo Brown picked up 12 points and tied a career best by dishing out 13 assists as NC State won its 10th in a row overall.
Seth Curry made five three-pointers en route to 22 points for the Blue Devils (15-1, 2-1), who couldn't meet the challenge in their first true road contest of the season.
Quinn Cook added 17 points and Mason Plumlee contributed 15 points and 11 boards with four steals in defeat, one which came without the services of Ryan Kelly.
Only Michigan, which plays Ohio State on Sunday, remains unblemished on the year.
Cook's layup brought Duke back within 55-51 with just over seven minutes played in the second half, and when Curry was true from long distance, the Blue Devils found themselves down only 58-57 approaching the midway point.
The hosts struck back with nine in a row to gain the breathing room they needed to post the victory, ending on a fast-break lay-in from Rodney Purvis. Leslie added two makes and Brown added a basket on the surge for a 66-57 game.
Cook's bucket and a Curry triple pulled Duke within five, but the NC State lead grew to nine once more, 71-62, with 5:02 to go. Plumlee's bucket in the paint made it 73-69 with 2:07 to play, but Leslie answered in kind to push NC State's lead to six.
Following Cook's miss in close, Brown made the front end of a 1-and-1 for a seven-point spread inside of a minute remaining. Cook then hit a layup for a 76-71 score with 40.7 on the clock.
Brown connected on two from the line to extend the lead to seven, and Cook responded in kind to make it 78-73. Wood calmly drained his attempts, then Cook was called for a walk on the ensuing possession. After the turnover, Leslie went to the line and made his tries, before Cook's triple brought Duke to 82-76 with 15 seconds left.
Wood added two more free throws to seal it.
NC State led 5-2 in the opening minutes, and its lead grew to 13-8 with just over 5 1/2 minutes played. Duke used a quick burst to take a 21-15 advantage after a fadeaway jumper from Curry and the resulting free throw.
A four-point play by Wood then pulled the hosts within 27-23, and a short time later back-to-back Leslie buckets pushed the Wolfpack on top 31-29. Purvis followed with a slam and Duke called timeout down by four with 3:47 left in the half.
Curry's triple forged a 39-39 deadlock, but T.J. Warren's bucket in the final seconds sent NC State to the break up by two.
Howell began the second half with consecutive baskets to give the Wolfpack a 45-39 edge, and Howell's lay-in off the break provided a 53-45 margin less than five minutes in.
NC State's last win over Duke came on January 20, 2010, an 88-74 home triumph ... The Wolfpack's 10-game win streak and 3-0 start to their ACC schedule match similar marks last attained in 1988-89 ... Duke has still won 26 of the last 30 meetings ... Warren finished with 10 points for the victors ... Duke's Amile Jefferson fouled out after posting 10 points, four rebounds and a pair of blocks.
01/12 15:21:50 ET