RALEIGH, N.C., Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Clifford Crawford scored 21 points and Marcus Melvin added 15 Wednesday night as North Carolina State snapped a 13-game losing streak against the third-ranked Duke Blue Devils with an 80-71 Atlantic Coast Conference triumph.
Duke (12-2, 3-2 ACC), which suffered its first loss of the season at Maryland on Saturday, had not lost back-to-back contests since beginning the 1999-2000 campaign with losses to Stanford and Connecticut.
The Blue Devils took a 17-7 lead but saw their advantage dwindle to 39-34 at the half. The Wolfpack (10-4, 3-1) went back and forth with the Blue Devils before taking the lead for good, 54-51, on a three-pointer by Levi Watkins with 8:20 remaining.
North Carolina State's lead was just 59-58 before Julius Hodge and Crawford made consecutive three-pointers to commence a 9-0 run and Duke got no closer than seven points in the final two minutes.
"He (Crawford) played like a real veteran," said Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski. "He was really good and he hasn't been hitting like that. When you win games like this, you need people to step up. I thought they had that. Our kids played their hearts out, but (N.C. State Coach) Herb (Sendek) did a good job with his team tonight."
Crawford made 7-of-11 shots, and Melvin and Hodge had big nights at the free-throw line to help the Wolfpack pull out their first victory over Duke since a quarterfinal upset of a top-seeded Blue Devils team in the 1997 ACC Tournament.
"This is a special night for us because we have such great respect for the Duke program and all that they've been able to accomplish," Sendek said. "But you've got to move on and play your next game. We have to stay grounded and we have to keep working and live up to the things we preach every day."
Duke freshman guard J.J. Redick scored 24 points, but just four in the second half. The Blue Devils shot 38 percent and allowed North Carolina State to make half of its 46 attempts.
The Wolfpack, who host arch-rival North Carolina on Sunday, improved to 9-1 at the RBC Center while the Blue Devils fell to 1-2 on the road.