Duke basketball throttles NC State, snaps three-game losing streak

Duke basketball (Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball (Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball snapped its three-game losing streak, throttling North Carolina State. 

It was the perfect birthday present for head coach Mike Krzyzewski as he watched his Duke basketball program snap a three-game losing streak and throttle North Carolina State.

The Blue Devils got off to a scorching offensive start, but it was the defense that carried Duke to an 18-point lead at halftime.

NC State did not have leading scorer Devon Daniels, but Duke forced 13 turnovers in the first half, resulting in 16 points, and shot a scorching 52.0-percent from the field and 62.5-percent from three-point range.

Sophomore forward Matthew Hurt fell just short of his career-high with 24 points in the victory, and he was perfect from the field until the final minutes, ending 8-of-10 from the floor and 6-of-7 from downtown.

Freshman center Mark Williams continued his emergence with 13 points, three rebounds, and five blocks.

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DJ Steward was the only other Blue Devil in double-figures with 12 points, but eight of the nine players to receive minutes scored for Duke in its 69-53 victory.

Henry Coleman was the lone player not to score despite his five minutes of action.

Jaemyn Brakefield finally received playing time again, and the freshman was productive with six points and five rebounds in 16 minutes.

However, Jalen Johnson continued his struggles and lack of playing time, only seeing eight minutes off the bench and all three of his points coming at the charity stripe.

Duke basketball still has long way to go in hopes of NCAA Tournament

A victory is nice, but the Blue Devils still have a long way to go before thinking about getting to the bubble of the NCAA Tournament.

A victory like this should have also been the outcome against Miami (FL) and Notre Dame.

It should not be a surprise that Duke defeated a team this badly, especially a team as shorthanded as North Carolina State was.

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Next is a trip to Winston-Salem to face the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, a team the Blue Devils have already defeated this season, before hosting No. 9 Virginia.

Wake fell just short on the road against Florida State on Saturday afternoon as the Seminoles forced the game to overtime, eventually going on to win.

Tipoff is scheduled for 8:30pm EST (ACC Network) on Wednesday, February 17.

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