RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- Outworked and outhustled. Terms not usually
associated with one of Mike Krzyzewski's basketball teams.
But that's what happened Sunday night as top-ranked Duke saw its
18-game winning streak snapped by North Carolina State (No. 21 AP).
"They were very hungry," Krzyzewski said of North Carolina
State. "A lot of stuff isn't about X's and O's, it's about how much
you really want it."
Wolfpack senior Scooter Sherrill said: "You don't really hear
that too much when you're playing Duke. They are always scrapping
and outplaying other teams. So from that standpoint, I'm very proud
of our team."
The win moved the Wolfpack (16-5, 9-2) within one game of the
Blue Devils (21-2, 10-1) with five Atlantic Coast Conference games
left and opened the door for either Stanford or Saint Joseph's to
be No. 1 in the polls on Monday.
NC State coach Herb Sendek had a difficult time making his way
to the media room after countless hugs from Wolfpack supporters.
When asked the last time he hugged that many people, Sendek
said: "At my wedding."
"This is obviously a very special moment for our basketball
program," he added.
Duke's defense -- its staple all season -- failed the Blue Devils
all night, allowing dribble penetration on numerous possessions as
the Wolfpack shot 52 percent and got half their points in the
"State made us not play well," Krzyzewski said. "It's to
their credit. They have been playing outstanding basketball and
they did it again tonight and we weren't able to match them."
The nation's top free throw shooting team made 12 straight from
the line over the final 1:10 to help seal the program's first win
over a top-ranked team since beating North Carolina in February
Surging NC State has won five straight ACC regular season
games for the first time in 30 years.
Hodge had 14 of his 18 points in the second half, while Ilian
Evtimov, who made his presence known in the lane, had 15.
J.J. Redick had 28 points for Duke, which last lost to Purdue on Nov. 29 in the championship game of the Great Alaska Shootout. The Blue Devils have been ranked No. 1 for the last four weeks.
Chris Duhon rallied the Blue Devils from a double-digit deficit
to within two early in the second half with two long 3-pointers 37
However, Duke couldn't pull closer than three until the final 7
seconds when the Wolfpack threw the ball away on an inbounds pass
and Sean Dockery hit a shot in the lane.
But Hodge swished two free throws in the final seconds to hand
Duke its first loss in 2½ months as thousands of Wolfpack fans
flooded the court.
Duke dug itself a hole in the first half with poor shot
selection and an even worse effort on the boards.
"They were able to dictate the style that the game was being
played and they did it well," Krzyzewski said.
The Blue Devils missed 20 of their first 27 shots and were
beaten 22-9 on the glass to fall behind by 13 late in the period --
matching the team's largest deficit of the season. Duke also
matched its low for an opening half, which occurred in the season
opener against Detroit.
The best shooting team in the ACC went 8½ minutes with just one
field goal to fall behind 36-23 as the Wolfpack shot 61 percent in
the opening 20 minutes.
"We came here well prepared and ready to play," Krzyzewski
said. "They were better and that knocked us back. We were kind of
fortunate to be down only by 10."
NC State's halftime lead could have been more, but the
Wolfpack coughed it up 11 times compared to twice for the Blue
Sherrill stirred the rivalry earlier in the week by saying
Redick "looked like he was gay" as he ran down the court with his
follow-through motion after a made shot.
The Wolfpack administration apologized a day later for
Sherrill's remarks. Sherrill had a rough time keeping up with the
ACC's top 3-point shooter, and picked up his fourth foul with 18:03
Sherrill later came back and made six key free throws over the
final 56 seconds.
"He didn't take it personally," Sherrill said of Redick. "I
realized I offended some people but I really didn't try to. I am
sorry to the world and I am dead serious about that. He shook my
hand before the game and I take my hat off to him."
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