Tracy Smith scored 23 points, Dennis Horner added 20 and North Carolina State stunned No. 7 Duke 88-74 on Wednesday night.
Javi Gonzalez had 15 points for the Wolfpack (13-6, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), including a critical 3-pointer that beat the shot clock with about four minutes left. It was N.C. State's first home win against Duke since 2004 and the first win against the Blue Devils overall since the first round of the 2007 ACC tournament.
By the time it was over, Wolfpack fans were charging the court for the kind of home win they haven't savored since an upset of highly ranked rival North Carolina in coach Sidney Lowe's first season.
Kyle Singler scored 22 points to lead the Blue Devils (15-3, 3-2), who fell behind by double figures in the first half and by as many as 17 points in the second half.
This was hardly the outcome anyone could have expected. Despite a tough loss at Georgia Tech earlier this month, Duke had looked every bit like the top team in the ACC. All three of the Blue Devils' league wins had come by at least 20 points, while their defense had allowed less than half of teams to even crack 40 percent shooting against them.
N.C. State, meanwhile, was picked to finish last in the league in the preseason and was still struggling to gain its footing in Lowe's fourth season as coach at the program he helped lead to a national championship as a player.
Yet behind Smith _ and perhaps some more magic in Lowe's red coat he wears for rivalry games _ N.C. State hit shot after shot to build a 10-point first-half lead, then pushed that margin all the way to 69-52 on Horner's dunk with 8:53 left.
Perhaps even more surprising, the same team that couldn't hold late leads in home losses to Florida and Virginia this month never let the Blue Devils back in it. Duke clawed to within eight points three times, yet couldn't get enough stops against the sharp-shooting Wolfpack to make it even tighter.
The last time came at 74-66, and Gonzalez answered by draining a long 3-pointer over the outstretched arm of 6-foot-10 Miles Plumlee to beat the shot clock and push the lead back to double figures with 3:50 left. Duke got no closer than nine points the rest of the night.
Smith shot 10 for 12 to lead a balanced offense that had five players in double figures. Most impressively, N.C. State shot 58 percent _ including 64 percent in a first-half performance that charged up the home crowd _ while the Blue Devils hit just 39 percent.
As the final seconds ticked away, Smith motioned to the roaring crowd to get even louder, while teammate Farnold Degand simply extended his arms in the air. When the horn sounded, Lowe broke into a big smile and pumped his fists at his players before being mobbed by his assistant coaches and disappearing in the crowd of red-clad fans running to midcourt to celebrate.
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