NC State hadn’t won in Cameron Indoor Stadium since 1995. Thant changed last night when Dennis Smith Jr took matters into his own hands and let the Wolfpack to a 84-82 victory.
This was a coming of age game for Dennis Smith Jr. Sure he has been one of the most remarkable players in the ACC, leading the league in steals, assists and nearing the top in scoring. But against Duke it was different. Smith Jr. not only put up the stats, but he broke through a wall. He willed his team to win on this night. When they needed him most, he delivered.
The Wolfpack went on a 20-5 run late in the second half and it was keyed by the play of Dennis Smith Jr. He was doing everything. He scored off the bounce, in transition, he pulled up and hit 3s, he found the open man for easy buckets. Dennis Smith Jr finally had his breakthrough, signature performance and it was against the #17 rival Blue Devils.
Smith finished with 32 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals. Backing him up was a big performance from Malik Abu who dropped 19 of his own while grabbing 9 boards. Then there was Kapita. The kid who hadn’t really done much in ACC play and didn’t play a single minute over the past 2 games. The freshman came in and played the biggest game of his career, putting up 14 points and 10 boards in only 19 minutes of play.
NC State now sits at 3-5 in the conference with two top 25 wins. Next up is a road trip to meet #13 Louisville.
Stay tuned as we’ll have our in-depth breakdowns coming up soon.