No. 1 Duke uses stifling defense to hold off 14th-ranked Wolfpack
=== No. 1 Duke uses stifling defense to hold off 14th-ranked Wolfpack ===
Durham, NC (Sports Network) – J.J. Redick scored 28 points and hit all 10 of
his free throws, as top-ranked Duke remained unbeaten by using a stifling
defense late in the second half to post an 81-68 victory over No. 14 North
Carolina State at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Shelden Williams tallied 21 points, nine rebounds, five steals and four
blocked shots for the Blue Devils (17-0, 5-0 ACC), who tied their 1992
national championship team for the best start in school history. Lee
Melchionni added 12 points and Sean Dockery scored 10, with the two hitting
consecutive three-pointers during a critical juncture with less than five
minutes remaining, in the win.
Duke, which finished the game on a 19-4 run, held the Wolfpack (14-3, 3-2)
without a field goal over the final 6:12.
Cedric Simmons scored a career-high 28 points, had nine rebounds and seven
blocked shots for North Carolina State, which lost for the 10th straight time
at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Gavin Grant’s layup gave the Wolfpack a 64-62 lead, but that would be NC
State’s final basket.
Redick put Duke ahead with a three-pointer from the right side and Dockery
then drilled a three and was fouled on the play by Tony Bethel. Dockery,
though, missed the free throw, but got his own rebound and Melchionni hit
another shot from beyond the arc with 4:44 remaining.
Grant then hit two foul shots, but Williams also drained two from the charity
stripe for a 73-67 Duke lead. Simmons made 1-of-2 at the line with 1:58 left,
but Duke’s defense took over from there.
Williams blocked Simmons’ short shot with just over a minute left and Greg
Paulus converted two free throws with 57.8 seconds to go. Redick then hit four
free throws in the final 40.1 seconds.
NC State scored the final eight points of the opening half for a 34-33 lead.
Duke has won 19 of the last 21 games against the Wolfpack…Williams became
Duke’s all-time leader in blocked shots. He has 348. Mike Gminski held the old
mark with 345…Duke plays at Georgetown on Saturday, while NC State hosts
Wake Forest…Duke’s last 10 triumphs have all come by double figures…Grant
had 13 points and Cameron Bennerman scored 12 for NC State, which shot 51.9
percent, compared to 44.8 percent shooting for Duke…The Wolfpack were 2-
of-11 from three-point range and the Blue Devils were 11-of-28 from behind the
arc…The Blue Devils had 28 points off 17 NC State turnovers.