It took awhile, but Gerald Henderson and No. 2 Duke are finally starting to shoot well enough to impress even J.J. Redick.
Henderson scored 21 points and the Blue Devils shot 76 percent in the second half of their 73-56 victory over North Carolina State last night.
Nolan Smith hit consecutive three-pointers 30 seconds apart to start the decisive run for the Blue Devils (17-1, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference).
But it wasn't until Henderson took the game over by hitting jumpers and driving the lane for authoritative dunks that his teammates started to find the seams in the Wolfpack's defense. He finished with his fourth straight game with at least 19 points.
Henderson's "play gave the team a big lift - when someone plays with that much assertiveness and confidence, it kinds of feeds down to the whole team," forward Kyle Singler said. "Guys kind of get shots from that."
With Redick - the Atlantic Coast Conference's career scoring leader - watching from behind the Duke bench, Singler scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half and Smith finished with 13 to help the Blue Devils, who closed the game on a 27-5 run.
Brandon Costner and Ben McCauley both scored 15 for the Wolfpack (10-6, 1-3), which led much of the game but hit just one field goal over the final 7:45.
More ACC men
Boston College 80, Georgia Tech 76, OT: : Tyrese Rice scored 24 of his 26 points after the first half, including six in overtime, and the visiting Eagles (14-6, 2-3) recovered after blowing a 14-point lead in the second half to beat the Yellow Jackets (9-9, 0-5).
Boston College (14-6, 2-3) broke a four-game losing streak. Georgia Tech (9-9, 0-5) remains the only ACC team without a conference victory.
Top 25 men
No. 25 Illinois 67, Ohio State 49: : Mike Tisdale scored 15 points and the host Illini (16-3, 4-2 Big Ten) won their first game this season as a nationally ranked team. It was Illinois' first win over the Buckeyes (13-4, 3-3) in six games.
Top 25 women
No. 7 Louisville 68, Cincinnati 50: : Angel McCoughtry (St. Frances) had 23 points, nine rebounds and eight steals to lead the host Cardinals (19-1, 6-0 Big East) to their 14th straight victory.
McCoughtry outscored the Bearcats (13-5, 3-2) 18-16 in the first half.
SWARTHMORE 58, WASHINGTON COLLEGE 53:: Nicole Rizzo's three-pointer with 41 seconds left proved to be the game-winner as the Garnet (8-8, 5-4 Centennial) upended the host Shorewomen (8-5, 3-4).