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Duke Takes A Beating In Raleigh

That wasn’t the team we’ve seen most of this season.

NCAA Basketball: Duke at N.C. State
Feb 19, 2020; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Wendell Moore Jr. (0) shoots over North Carolina State Wolfpack forward DJ Funderburk (0) and forward Manny Bates (15) during the first half at PNC Arena.
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Everybody has a plan until they get hit in the face.

Ancient boxing axiom.

Duke got hit in the face early and often Tuesday night in PNC Arena and they did not have a plan.

Make no mistake. State’s 88-66 win over Duke was no fluke.

They were better in every aspect of the game.

Of course Duke said all the right things before the game. And I’m sure they believed them. No one expects to come out flat. They understood that the Wolfpack would be focused, motivated and hungry and they had to be able to match that intensity.

Instead Duke came out like a team that would be rather have been doing something else.

It was 10-2 at the first media timeout.

“They knew they needed it and they got it,” Mike Krzyzewski summed up. “We were not competitive tonight. In order to beat them tonight we would have to have been extremely competitive. Our kids have won 22 games and 12 conference games. You have to stay hungry while you’re winning at that level, because we’re not a team at that level. We’ve just won that many games. That happens to a team. That’s our worst game but they made us look that way.”

It was a Murphy’s Law kind of first half for Duke, the kind where everything went wrong.

Duke players fighting each other for a rebound and fumbling it out of bounds, dribbling on the sideline, hitting the bottom of the rim on a layup, throwing a 75-foot pass to a teammate 70 feet away.

And don’t forget that 29 percent foul shooting.

But most of all State just took control from the beginning and never let go.

Devon Daniels set the tone for the Wolfpack, consistently turning the corner, getting to the rim and finishing. At the midpoint of the first half Daniels had outscored Duke 14-11 and it was 20-11 overall.

“Daniels right away from the start was just an aggressor,” Krzyzewski said.

Then point guard Markell Johnson took over.

This is a guy who came into the night shooting 25.6 percent on 3s.

He was three-for-three on 3s in the first half, finishing with a 60-foot buzzer beater.

“When he plays like that,” Krzyzewski said, “they’re an elite team because he’s an elite guard.”

It was 44-29 at the half, Daniels (18) and Johnson (14) outscoring Duke by themselves.

It got worse. Vernon Carey and Matthew Hurt each missed two foul shots in the opening two minutes, as the Wolfpack stretched the lead to 57-34.

Duke actually had one run in them, fueled by Carey and Jones and some short-lived State shooting woes.

But the rally ran out of steam. Jones missed an open three with Duke down 61-50, Jordan Goldwire the same with Duke down 64-52.

“I think we got back when we showed heart and some guts there,” Krzyzewski said “but we needed to put smart with it. We used a lot to get there, so that was part of it. But they were not going to be denied tonight. They kept their foot on the pedal pretty hard.”


State had three players combine for 74 points. Johnson ended with 28 (5-for-6 on 3s), Daniels 25 and D.J. Funderburk with 21.

Carey led Duke with 27 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, while Jones added 17 points.

But they received virtually no support. Until Goldwire hit a 3 in the final minute to finish with 7 points, Carey and Jones were the only Duke players with more than 4 points. A State team that came into the game shooting 31 percent on 3s hit 8-of-13, while out-rebounding Duke 51-43.

Duke, on the other hand shot 10-for-22 from the line, 4-for-17 on 3s, 37.7 percent from the field and had woeful 6 assists, 4 by Jones.

Duke had 13 turnovers, State 10.

The teams meet again on March 2 at Cameron.


Player Of The Game vs. NC State

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Matthew Hurt
    (6 votes)
  • 68%
    Vernon Carey
    (306 votes)
  • 0%
    Cassius Stanley
    (3 votes)
  • 1%
    Jordan Goldwire
    (5 votes)
  • 13%
    Tre Jones
    (58 votes)
  • 3%
    Joey Baker
    (17 votes)
  • 2%
    Javin DeLaurier
    (9 votes)
  • 6%
    Jack White
    (27 votes)
  • 1%
    Wendell Moore
    (5 votes)
  • 2%
    Alex O’ Connell
    (10 votes)
446 votes total Vote Now