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The Wolfpack came ready to play in Cameron Indoor Stadium as they always do and took it to the Blue Devils early pushing out to a 7 point lead at the 17:32 mark of the first half. Duke would reclaim the lead at the 9:26 mark on an AJ Griffin 3-point shot and not surrender it for the rest of the half. Pushing out to a 9 point lead at the break of 45-36. Trevor Keels and Mark Williams paced the Blue Devils in the first half with 10 points each. Trevor Keels dished 5 first half assists on this way to a game high 9, Jeremy Roach added 4 assists of his own. Duke would enter the half with a 28-16 edge in paint points and a rebounding edge of 18 to 16.

The second half for Duke began with a 19-9 run out of the gate to expand their lead to 19 points capped off by a 3-pointer from senior Joey Baker. For the Blue Devils it was a block party the entire night for sophomore center Mark Williams. Williams was averaging 3 blocks per game coming into Saturday but was able to toss 8 shots back on this way to nearly achieving a triple double, adding 11 rebounds and 19 points on 9-12 shooting. Freshman Paolo Banchero was unstoppable for the Blue Devils, scoring a game high 21 points and pulling down 8 rebounds. Banchero also added 4 assists including a sweet dime to junior Wendell Moore who cut along the baseline for a layup.

Trevor Keels led the Blue Devils in assists dishing out 9 to go with his 12 points, 5 rebounds and 5 steals where he also lead Duke. Junior Wendell Moore Jr. didn’t have a good floor game, turning the ball over 4 times, but Moore did score 15 points on 6-8 shooting and pulled down 3 rebounds.

After only managing 6 points from their bench in their last game against Wake Forest, the Blue Devils got an 18 point burst from their bench, including 10 from grad transfer Theo John who did his damage in just 11 minutes. Senior Joey Baker added 6 points in 12 minutes and while Jeremy Roach only scored 2 points, he did add 4 assists to the Duke total.

Even with Duke rolling out to a 19 point lead in the second half, the Wolfpack, on the strength of their offensive rebounding, kept the game pressure on the Blue Devils whittling the Duke lead down to 9 at the 5:20 and again at the 3:21 mark of the second half. NC State continually confounded the Blue Devils on the offensive glass where they pulled down 22 and converted that into 16 second chance points. Led by guard Terquavion Smith who scored 19 points. In the end the Wolfpack could not overcome Duke shooting 58.3% from the field and 58 to 38 advantage in points in the paint. The Blue Devils pulled away in the end for an 88-73 win at home.

The Good

18 bench points for the Blue Devils, great number especially when Duke is still looking to get their guys back in game shape.
23 assists for the Blue Devils on 35 made shots. Duke shared the ball exceptionally well in this game.
58% shooting. Duke was led by their front court and scored 58 points in the paint.

The Bad

Duke still is a subpar defensive rebounding team and it showed and several times kept the NC State Wolfpack in reach. Duke surrendered 22 offensive rebound which is an ugly number, that led directly to 16 second chance points for the Wolfpack.

Free throw shooting hasn’t been great for the Blue Devils in the past 2 games. In two 2 straight games the Blue Devils have been sub 60% from the line. Against the Wolfpack the Blue Devils were at 58.3%, in their last game against Wake Forest the Blue Devils were 53.8 %.