Vernon Carey: They Just Punched Us in the Mouth


Duke came into Wednesday’s game at NC State on a seven-game winning streak and coming off one of its best performances of the season in a win over Notre Dame the previous weekend.

The Wolfpack turned the tables, however, pounding Duke by a lopsided 88-66 score.

“I just felt like we were the aggressor on Saturday, and they were the aggressor today,” Duke center Vernon Carey Jr. said. “They just punched us in the mouth in the first half, and we just couldn’t get back.”

Duke made a second-half run, but not only couldn’t the Blue Devils regain the lead, they were never able to even cut the lead to single digits. “We tried to make a run in the second half, but they just kept on scoring when we tried to get stops,” Carey said.

Duke’s coaches and players agreed that Duke just didn’t have the same energy level as NC State on Wednesday and couldn’t match the Wolfpack’s intensity.

“We’ve just got to find it and just bring our own energy,” Carey said. “We were just short today and we didn’t bring a lot of energy today.”

Carey thinks the team can learn from the experience.

“Yeah, definitely,” he said. “This is just a regular season game, but we’ve just got to move onto the next one. We just can’t stay on this game. We’ve just got to move onto the next one.”

Carey battled NC State big man D.J. Funderburk, who ended up with 21 points against the Duke big man.

“We were going at it but that was it really for me,” he said. “I’ll just continue to keep on being aggressive and keep trying to find my shots.”