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NC State sends Duke packing in overtime win, 85-80

Posted Friday, March 9, 2007

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Tampa, FL - Despite five players scoring 14 or more points including a career-high from Martynas Pocius, the Duke men's basketball team fell to N.C. State in overtime, 85-80, Thursday in the first round of the 2007 ACC Tournament at the St. Pete Times Forum in front of 22,269 fans. With the loss, Duke snaps a six game win streak at the tournament and lost for just the second time in the last eight years.

Greg Paulus led the way for Duke with 18 points while Josh McRoberts and DeMarcus Nelson scored 17 apiece and Jon Scheyer and Pocius added 14, apiece. Pocius' 14 off the bench marks his second career game scoring in double figures.

Brandon Costner led the way for N.C. State with 30 points and seven rebounds. Costner, who also had seven rebounds and three assists, was the Pack’s hero of the first half and overtime, scoring 16 of his points before intermission and another seven in the extra period. His 30 points were the second most ever scored by an NC State freshman, trailing only the 35 points Ernie Myers had at Duke in January, 1983.

Engin Atsur

Wolfpack senior Engin Atsur, who was unable to play in the first meeting this year because of a hamstring injury, kept the Wolfpack in the game by scoring all 21 of his points in the second half.

Ben McCauley added 15 points and 10 rebounds in the contest, the fourth double-double of the season. The Wolfpack shot a remarkable 60.8 percent from the field, the highest shooting percentage for any Duke opponent this season, and a far cry from the 34.1 percent the Pack hit in the earlier game against Duke. During one stretch of the second half, the Wolfpack made 14 of 18 field goal attempts, and made 62.5 percent of its shots in the second half.

Duke's shooting in the first half gave the Blue Devils a nine-point lead on a couple of occassions, including with 1:31 left before N.C. State rattled off four straight points to cut Duke's lead to 34-29 at the half. Scheyer and Pocius combined to go 5-of-5 from long range in the first half and Paulus had a triple, as well.

The second half featured nine lead changes and eight ties, the last of which came when Nelson hit a lay-up on an in-bounds pass with 41 seconds remaining to tie the game at 70 apiece, where it remained at the end of regulation.

In overtime, Paulus hit a lay-up after a three-point play from the Wolfpack to bring Duke back within one less than a minute into the overtime period. N.C. State then opened up a six-point lead and then held off a Duke rally that including a Pocius traditional three-point play.

The Blue Devils, winners of seven of the last eight ACC Tournaments, played the game without freshman Gerald Henderson, who was suspended by the ACC after a hard foul against North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough in the regular-season finale. The loss was the first time Duke fell in its opening ACC Tournament game since 1997, when the top-seeded Blue Devils lost to the No. 8 seed Wolfpack in Herb Sendek’s first season as head coach. The Pack advanced to the tourney finals that season, where it lost to North Carolina.

The 10th-seeded Pack (16-14 overall) advances to play No. 2 seed Virginia in Friday’s 7 p.m. quarterfinal contest.

All four lower seeds -- Florida State, Miami, Wake Forest and the Wolfpack -- beat higher seeded opponents in first round action.

Duke will now await its fate for the 2007 NCAA Tournament as the selection show will take place on Sunday.

 
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NC State sends Duke packing in overtime win, 85-80
Redshirt freshman Brandon Costner led the Wolfpack with a career-high 30 points, including a three-point play at the beginning of overtime.
photo by Gene Galin