C.J. Leslie and Richard Howell wanted this moment, the chance to help No. 20 North Carolina State make a big step forward after a bumpy start to a season filled with potential.
Now, after a rousing performance to take down No. 1 Duke, the duo has put the Wolfpack back on everyone’s radar.
Leslie scored 25 points, including six straight during a key second-half run, to help N.C. State beat the Blue Devils, 84-76, at home on Saturday.
Howell added 16 points and 18 rebounds in a relentless performance for the Wolfpack (14-2 overall, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) in a matchup of the teams predicted to finish 1-2 in the league.
Seth Curry scored 22 despite missing the final minutes with a left ankle injury for Duke (15-1, 2-1).
TOP 25 MEN’S HIGHLIGHTS
At No. 5 Indiana 88, No. 8 Minnesota 81: Victor Oladipo had 20 points and six rebounds and Jordan Hulls knocked down four 3-pointers, helping the Hoosiers (15-1, 3-0 Big Ten) hold off a late charge by the Golden Gophers’ (15-2, 3-1) to win their six straight and 18th in a row at Assembly Hall.
At Ole Miss 64, No. 10 Missouri 49: Murphy Holloway scored 22 points, Jarvis Summers added 12 and the Rebels cruised to a victory over the Tigers.
Ole Miss (13-2, 2-0 Southeastern) led the entire game, jumping out to an early 9-0 lead thanks to timely shooting and superior defense.
Jabari Brown led Missouri (12-3, 1-1) with 13 points.
UConn 65, at No. 17 Notre Dame 58: Shabazz Napier scored 19 points, Tyler Olander scored 12 of his career-high 16 points in the second half and the Huskies (12-3, 2-1 Big East) ended the game with a 7-0 run to beat the Fighting Irish, ending a 12-game winning streak by Notre Dame (14-2, 2-1).
No. 18 Kansas State 65, at West Virginia 64: Shane Southwell made two free throws with 21 seconds left, then blocked Gary Browne’s layup attempt with a second left to preserve the Wildcats’ win over the Mountaineers.
Southwell and Rodney McGruder both had 17 points for Kansas State (13-2, 2-0 Big 12).
Jabarie Hinds had a career-high 15 points for West Virginia, (8-7, 1-2).
Elston Turner scored 40 points for Texas A&M (12-3, 2-0 SEC), and the Aggies topped Kentucky, 83-71, for their first road conference win as members of the Southeastern Conference. Turner played for the Washington Huskies for two seasons before transferring to the Aggies after the 2009-10 season. Archie Goodwin led the Wildcats (10-5, 1-1) with 17 points. … Clarence Trent, who previously played at UW and Gig Harbor High, scored 15 points and gathered six rebounds to lead Seattle University (5-10, 0-5 Western Athletic) in a 64-51 loss to Denver (9-7, 5-1) at home.