RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Two words. Statement victory.
Sophomore guard Terquavion Smith finished with 24 points to help lead North Carolina State University’s 24-point win against its former Big Four rival, Duke University, 84-60.
Wednesday’s matchup featured the Atlantic Coastal Conference’s second-ranked scoring offense against the conference’s second-ranked scoring defense. N.C. State is averaging 80.6 points per game while Duke is allowing just 60.4 and holding opponents to just 40.4 percent shooting.
The big question coming into the game was if the Wolfpack would be able to rebound without injured forward Jack Clark, especially with the height of true-freshman Dariq Whitehead and two seven-footers at the No. 4 and 5 positions in Kyle Filipowski and Dereck Lively II.
They were fine.
While N.C. State didn’t out-rebound Duke, it tied them 38 all in the game.
Although the rebounding was even, the scoring was not.
The Wolfpack held a 22-point lead at the half.
Yes, you read that correctly.
They also went on a 15-0 run to begin the game.
Smith and guard Jarkel Joiner had 24 and 21 points respectively and helped the team go 10-for-26 from behind the 3-point arc. The two combined to hit nine of the team’s 10.
In the second half, N.C. State eventually grew its lead to 52-26, forcing a head coach Jon Scheyer timeout. But the Blue Devils couldn’t recover.
The Wolfpack outshot the Blue Devils 47 percent to 39 percent and hit 38 percent of their 3s to Duke’s 33 percent.
Another storyline? Turnovers.
Duke fumbled the ball 21 times compared to N.C. State’s six.
Wolfpack head coach Kevin Keatts has now beat Duke three times, all inside PNC Arena. The win is also projected to help N.C. State’s resume as a potential Quadrant 1 win, a necessity for those with NCAA Tournament aspirations.
Jordan Crammer contributed to this article.