Sloppy play by No. 10 Duke women leads to 72-59 loss to NC State



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RALEIGH, North Carolina — No. 10 Duke gave everything away — first the ball, then the game, and probably its high national ranking, too.

North Carolina State upset the Blue Devils 72-59 on Sunday largely due to their leaky defense and sloppy offense.

"We played in spurts, and that's not good enough in our league to play in spurts," coach Joanne P. McCallie said. "They took full advantage."

N.C. State hit 12 3-pointers and scored 28 points off 18 turnovers by the Blue Devils, who gave it away on five straight possessions down the stretch after pulling within four with less than 9 minutes left.

"Twenty-eight points off turnovers, that might be a world record," McCallie said. "Eighteen of the worst turnovers I've ever seen. Terrible."

Miah Spencer scored 23 points, Dominique Wilson added 18 with four 3s, and Jennifer Mathurin finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

"I know (late coach Kay) Yow would be proud of these kids," N.C. State coach Wes Moore said. "We had the perfect storm."

N.C. State (16-11, 7-7 Atlantic Coast Conference) won its fourth in five games overall and earned its first regular-season victory over Duke since 2001.

The Wolfpack did earn memorable wins over the Blue Devils in two ACC tournaments, including a 2007 semifinal when Duke was unbeaten and ranked No. 1 and Yow returned from some time away to fight breast cancer.

This marked N.C. State's annual "Hoops 4 Hope" game in which the teams wear pink-trimmed uniforms for breast-cancer awareness and raise funds for the cancer fund that bears Yow's name.

"Playing where coach Kay Yow coached ... I've never won a game here in pink," Len'Nique Brown said. "My first time beating Duke. It means a lot."

Elizabeth Williams scored 19 points, Rebecca Greenwell added 16 and Azura Stevens had 13 points and 10 rebounds for Duke (19-8, 10-4), which lost its second straight.

Stevens hit a free throw to bring Duke to 48-44 with 8:51 remaining. But after that, the Blue Devils simply couldn't keep control of the ball.

In the middle of Duke's giveaway spree, Brown hit a layup, Spencer buried a jumper and Mathurin swished a 3 from the left corner to put N.C. State up 55-44 with 5 minutes left.

Duke never got closer than seven the rest of the way, and N.C. State iced it by hitting 13 of 14 free throws in the final 90 seconds.

Brown finished with 12 points for the Wolfpack, who shot 33 percent overall and 48 percent from 3-point range. Duke entered with the stingiest defense in the ACC, allowing teams to shoot just 34 percent overall and 28 percent from beyond the arc.

STAT SHEET:

Williams had eight rebounds to give her 1,002 for her career, making her just the second player in Duke history with 1,000. The Blue Devils held a 50-33 advantage on the boards against a smaller N.C. State team of which Moore said "when we go through an airport right now, people think we're a miniature golf team."

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT:

"I wish they could walk home." — McCallie, on her displeasure with Duke's performance.

TIP-INS:

Duke: Ka'lia Johnson's 3-pointer 30 seconds into the second half snapped a string of 18 missed 3s for the Blue Devils, a drought that began six nights earlier during a loss at No. 4 Notre Dame.

N.C. State: The Wolfpack end the season with three straight games against teams in the top 10. After visiting No. 9 Florida State on Thursday night, they wrap up against the Fighting Irish next Sunday.

UP NEXT:

Duke: visits Georgia Tech on Thursday night.

N.C. State: visits No. 9 Florida State on Thursday night.


Follow Joedy McCreary on Twitter at http://twitter.com/joedyap

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