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January 19, 2014

Quick hits from NC State's loss to Duke

Quick hits and notes from NC State's 95-60 loss to No. 23 Duke in front of 9,314 rowdy fans at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham Saturday afternoon.

Play of the game

Duke led by 13 at the half, and their lead never shrunk in the final 20 minutes, so we've got to go back to the first half for the play of the game. The Blue Devils took a 37-22 lead on a huge dunk from Jabari Parker off a steal with 5:27 left. Duke's lead only briefly dipped back down to single-digits after that slam.

Highlight of the game

NC State rookie forward Kyle Washington always plays with great energy, but with classmate and fellow post player Lennard Freeman out due to a sprained ankle, the Pack needed Washington even more than usual.

The 6-9, 225-pounder answered the bell early in his fourth straight start and the seventh of his career. Washington recorded eight points and three rebounds in the first half, but his biggest highlight came with 8:24 left before the break. Duke senior guard Andre Dawkins tried to go up for a highlight-reel dunk, but was rejected by the Pack's youngster with a monster swat.

Player of the game

Duke freshman forward Jabari Parker and NC State super sophomore T.J. Warren tied for a game-high with 23 points. Parker was 7-of-14 from the floor, made both three-pointers he attempted and went 7-of-10 from the charity stripe, to go along with eight rebounds, three steals and an assist in 26 minutes.

Meanwhile, Warren made nine of his 19 field goals en route to 23 points, eight rebounds, a block and a steal in 37 minutes of action. His block was part of an impressive sequence that ended with an old-fashioned three-point finish on the other end.

Turnovers cost Pack

If there is one statistic that stands out the most from the postgame box score, it is NC State's 21 turnovers and Duke's 33 points off of them. Duke finished with 14 steals in the game and also out-pointed NCSU on the break, 19-4.

Meanwhile, NC State tallied just three steals and forced Duke into eight turnovers, which they converted into just two points. There aren't many teams that could record a win with a disadvantage like that.

A few famous faces

There were several familiar faces inside of Cameron on Saturday. The 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush, was in attendance to recognize Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski for his commitment and leadership in working toward eliminating cancer as a public health threat. He met with the Blue Devils in the locker room after the game.

A pair of historic Duke squads were also recognized on the court - their 1963-64 Final Four team, as well as the 1988-89 unit that reached the Final Four. The Blue Devils' football team, who played in the Chick-fil-A Bowl this year, was also recognized with coach David Cutcliffe.

However, they weren't the only successful athletes on hand. Former NC State quarterback Mike Glennon, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' starting signal caller, was among the Wolfpack luminaries on hand in Durham.

What the loss means

NC State falls to 11-7 overall and 1-4 in the ACC, while No. 23 Duke improves to 14-4 overall and 3-2 in league play. NCSU falls to 98-140 all-time against the Blue Devils, including a 25-48 mark at Cameron.

The Pack has not won at Cameron since 1995, when Krzyzewski assistant Pete Gaudet was at the helm, and they have not beaten the Hall of Fame mentor in Durham since 1988.

State's 1-4 start in the ACC is the worst start to conference play under coach Mark Gottfried. The 2008-09 squad also started 1-4 against ACC foes and finished that year 6-10 in the ACC and 16-14 overall.

The contest also marks the Pack's second 30-point loss of the year so far in conference play. State hasn't had two such losses since the 2001-02 season, when they had two such contests at the hands of Duke - a 37-point loss during the regular season and a 30-point loss in the ACC Tournament.

Other stats of note

- NC State started off with a huge advantage on the glass, and they tallied 13 rebounds before Duke could pull down one missed shot, which came with 12:50 remaining in the first half. However, the Blue Devils held a 35-19 advantage on the boards after they erased the doughnut, and they had a 14-1 lead on the offensive glass. The two squads were fairly even in second-chance points, with State holding a 15-14 advantage.

- Both teams pounded the paint, but Duke outscored State 42-38 down low, which was where NCSU thought they had an advantage.

- Duke's bench dwarfed the production of NC State's reserves. Led by guard Rasheed Sulaimon's 13 points off the pine, Duke's second-team outscored NC State's reserves, 38-13. Sophomore point guard Tyler Lewis, who Gottfried noted probably was not still over the illness that has plagued him the past few days, led the way for the Pack bench with six points.

- Duke finished the game shooting exactly 50 percent (33-66) from the floor, and 45.8 percent (11-24) from downtown. They also made 18 of their 21 free throw attempts. Meanwhile, NC State shot 48.1 percent (25-52) from the field, 25 percent (2-8) from behind the arc and 50 percent (8-16) from the free throw line.

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