In a game rife with runs Duke gets the last and most important one at home against NC State. Both teams came into the game needing a win – Duke to get on a winning streak after its January troubles and NC State looking for some signs of life after sporting a 2-8 ACC record.
Duke did a good job early in the first half defending Cat Barber, using freshman Derryck Thornton to frustrate Barber into some uncharacteristic turnovers and mistakes. Barber would eventually break through scoring 26 points and dishing 6 assists. Duke countered with sophomore Grayson Allen and freshman Luke Kennard who scored 28 and 26 points respectively. Duke had a chance to put the game out of reach but sloppiness of offense in the first half and a lack of execution gave NC State new life several times.
Duke and NC State both shot 50% from the 3 point line but Duke took twice as many shots hence a significant advantage. What kept NC State within reach was their huge advantage in points in the paint where they led Duke 38-20, they also out-rebounded Duke 38 to 29.
Despite the lapses on offensive execution Duke did assist on 19 of its 25 shots and only turned the ball over 9 times in the game. For the second game in a row Chase Jeter got a few minutes off the bench and scored 2 points and grabbed a rebound in 4 minutes of work.
Despite losing the lead midway through the second half Duke powered through for an 88-80 win giving them some breathing room above the .500 mark in the ACC at 6-4.