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Updated: Saturday, February 22, 2003 8:36 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(8) Duke 79, No Carolina St 68
NORTH CAROLINA ST. WOLFPACK
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DUKE BLUE DEVILS
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DURHAM, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Dahntay Jones and the defense of eighth-ranked Duke defense slammed the back door on the 'Princeton-style offense' of North Carolina State's.

Jones had 19 points and three steals and Daniel Ewing added 18 off the bench and matched his career high with four steals as No. 8 Duke exacted revenge against North Carolina State with a 79-68 victory in an Atlantic Coast Conference clash.

The Blue Devils (19-4, 8-4 ACC) avenged their 80-71 loss at the RBC Center on January 22 and won for the 19th time in their last 21 meetings with the Wolfpack.

Duke also ran its overall winning streak at Cameron Indoor Stadium to 27 games, marking the third longest in school history.

Jones shot 8-for-13 from the floor and reached double figures for the 21st time in 24 games this season. He scored four points to help power Duke's 12-0 run during a three-minute, first-half span, when the Blue Devils recorded six of their 13 steals.

"We beat a difficult team to play against because they're so well-schooled in their offense," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "I thought our pressure was certainly a huge part of the game and a number of those turnovers turned into fast-break points."

Off a feed from Ewing, Jones slammed home a dunk with 11:10 remaining in the opening period to cap the surge and gave the Blue Devils a 20-9 lead. The Wolfpack (14-8, 7-4) never pulled within eight thereafter.

"Our emphasis was on defense because of the type of offense that they ran," Ewing said. "If we could contest the ball, contest their passes and get some layups, then it would kind of help us out and take away their backdoor looks."

The win kept Duke knotted with Maryland and in a virtual tie with Wake Forest atop the ACC standings.

Julius Hodge paced North Carolina State with 18 points and six assists, but also committed five turnovers in the Wolfpack's fourth loss in six games.

"(We) have to do a better job of handling the ball under pressure," Wolfpack coach Herb Sendek said. "Certainly, their pressure over here in Cameron is outstanding. You know that going in, but it doesn't make it any easier to deal with once you're here."

The Wolfpack recorded a season-high 24 turnovers.

"That was our point of emphasis in today's game," Blue Devils guard Chris Duhon said of their defense. "We felt that they're a team that no one has really pressured to the point where they're not able to run their offense. ... So we just wanted to speed them up a little bit, get in passing lanes."

After a disappointing 2000-01 campaign for North Carolina State, Sendek introduced a 'Princeton-style offense,' which features a strategy of backdoor cuts, ball handoffs and misdirections made famous by former Princeton coach Pete Carril.

Proof of the Wolfpack's improved play came a month ago, when Clifford Crawford scored 21 points, Hodge added 18 and Marcus Melvin chipped in 15 as the Wolfpack snapped a 13-game losing streak against the Blue Devils.

Jones had a disappointing outing at the RBC Center, fouling out with 10 points for Duke. But on Saturday, the senior swingman tallied 11 in the first half.

The Blue Devils were trailing, 9-8, just under six minutes into the contest when Jones was whistled for a blocking foul on Hodge near halfcourt. In a display of frustration, Hodge threw an elbow at Duke's best defensive player and was hit with a technical foul.

"Dahntay showed incredible composure," Krzyzewski said. "If you got hit in the mouth like that, what would you do? He held his composure really well. I think he's done a really good job of that."

Freshman J.J. Redick, who scored 10 points, converted the ensuing two free throws and sparked the Blue Devils' outburst.

Ewing missed a shot after point guard Chris Duhon stripped Hodge. But Duhon made a layup with 13 1/2 minutes to go and increased Duke's advantage to 12-9.

Duhon finished with 12 points, five assists and a pair of steals. He moved into a seventh-place tie with current Duke assistant Steve Wojciechowski on the school's all-time steals list with 203.

Jones then forced a turnover by Crawford and took the ball himself for a breakaway dunk to grow the Blue Devils' cushion to five, prompting the Wolfpack to take a 30-second timeout with 13 minutes left.

Freshman Sean Dockery contributed nine points in 14 minutes off the bench. The guard registered two of his three steals in the next 90 seconds.

Dockery stripped Hodge and converted it into an easy layup. Next, he victimized Melvin and fed Duhon, who was fouled by Hodge, hit both shots from the line and opened Duke's lead to 18-9 with 11:28 remaining.

"Dockery, in a game like this where we've got to play a number of perimeter guys, Sean had three steals and nine points," Krzyzewski said. "He only played two minutes against Maryland and not very well. When you get contributions from guys like that, you're going to win games."

Duke leads the all-time series, 126-94.


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