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It’s been a roller coaster season for the young Duke Blue Devils but Tuesday night they had a chance to accomplish something special in Coach Jon Scheyer’s inaugural season. A win versus NC State would give Duke an undefeated season in Cameron Indoor Stadium – the only team to accomplish that in the ACC. It would not be an easy task against the same team that pummeled this Blue Devil team by 24 points in Raleigh.

The two teams traded early baskets, with Mark Mitchell connecting on his first shot of the game to open the scoring. Both defenses were locked in but NC State held a 6-4 advantage after 5 minutes. Each run by Duke was countered by NC State but Duke managed to pull ahead by 4 points at the break.

The second half saw more of the same with Duke pulling ahead to begin the second half by 10 but NC State countered with an 8-0 run to pull within 2 points at 46-44.

Team Captain Jeremy Roach took over in the last 8 minutes scoring 8 of his 20 points to help the Blue

Devils extend their lead, 65-53, at the final media timeout of the night. The Wolfpack went on a quick 14-6 run to draw within 4 but the Blue Devils prevailed.

With the win Duke finished their home season undefeated (16-0) for the 19th time in the history of Cameron Indoor Stadium, which opened in 1940, and the first time since the 2013-14 season. 4 players scored in double figures for the Blue Devils led by Jeremy Roach with 20 points on 9-19 shooting. It marked Roach’s fifth 20-point game this season and the sixth of his career — Duke is now 5-1 when Roach goes for 20+. He has led Duke in scoring in each of the last four games – in five of the last six and seven of the last nine — and is averaging 14.8 points over his last 12 games since returning from injury.

Mark Mitchell added 12 points shooting 50% from the field and 5-6 from the free throw line. Tyrese Proctor also scored 12 points and went 8-9 from the charity stripe. Kyle Filipowski notched his 13th double-double of the season scoring 11 points and pulling down 14 rebounds. Dereck Lively also pulled down double-digit rebounds with 12.

On a night when Duke was cold from the outside (2-19) they rode their defense to the win holding NC State below their season average in points.


Opening Statement: 

“What a special night in Cameron. The crowd was absolutely incredible and really proud of our team for the growth that we’ve made this season, their perseverance. NC State is a really good team. They’re explosive offensively. I thought our defense was the key to the game. It’s been really what we’ve hung our hat on all year long. Dereck [Lively]’s job on [D.J.] Burns. Tyrese [Proctor] with [Terquavion] Smith. We were fortunate too. They missed some shots. Collectively, I thought we played a great defensive team and down the stretch, Jeremy [Roach] really made some key plays. I think he scored six of our last 10. Pressure free throws with Tyrese, with Jeremy. We can handle that situation better, but also, they’re throwing up some big-time shots. That’s what they do. So, really proud of this team. Proud of going undefeated at home. To represent Cameron Indoor Stadium this way is a big deal. Get refreshed and focused for one more game.” 

On what was done differently defensively compared to the first game: 

“The fact that we had more points from turnovers than they did speaks for itself. I think they had one pick-six when they went and laid it in, but besides that, I think we did a great job making them a half-court team. They’re fast. They get down the floor as quickly as anybody we’ve played. It starts there. I don’t even want to compare it to the last game because I could go on and on about that. It started there and once we got them in the half-court, I thought five guys were just moving together. We did a good job controlling the ball. We played without fouling for the most part and give them credit, I thought in the first half, they made some tough shots and that’s what they do. You just need to stay the course and keep playing.” 

On the way Jeremy Roach has been playing recently: 

“Jeremy [Roach]’s a winner. He’s been through it. It reminds me of last year at the end with Jeremy in the tournament. He’s done that for us in stretches all year long and this is the most consistent that he’s played. We ask a lot of him. He’s guarding [Jarkel] Joiner today. He did a good job battling him and then on offense, we need him to score and create, but he just has a knack for making timely baskets. We didn’t call a timeout. We were up by two. Put the ball in his hands, and that was a big-time bucket right there. A key moment, obviously, down the stretch to carry us and finish a game, but it’s just who he is. He’s done it really since high school. We need him to continue to do it.” 

On what was going on after final timeout and needing just one more stop: 

“That is not an easy position to be in. That’s a tough spot to be in for sure and you can get rattled. That’s an easy thing to not have poise and we didn’t turn the ball over. They hit tough shots and really it just comes down to one stop at that point. I thought we were tired because they pick you up full court the whole game and they can wear you down a little bit. We made a couple tired decisions probably. So, just to really buckle down and get one stop and we did.” 

On what Duke did defensively to slow down D.J. Burns Jr. in the second half: 

“One, [D.J.] Burns probably missed some looks he normally could make, and we were fortunate there, but we ended up not really doubling much because Dereck [Lively] just did a great job battling him. It’s such a luxury for us to have Dereck Lively and to have Ryan Young who are two very different players. Ryan can be very physical when he’s in and Dereck, obviously, with his length and instincts and timing. They just did a great job. So, for us, the hardest part was rebounding. He goes after his own rebound and they’re flying in, but I give both those guys a lot of credit for the job they did.” 


“We just wanted to bring it home. Obviously, we had flashbacks to what [NC State] did to us [in Raleigh] and how they were celebrating on their court, but we just wanted to finish it out and get a win and, obviously, protect home court and go undefeated all season at home. I’m just glad we got it done. Obviously, last year didn’t end the way we wanted it to in the last home game at Cameron, so we just wanted to finish it out and do whatever it takes to get a win.” 

On what it means to be a part of a Duke team that finished the season undefeated at Cameron Indoor Stadium: 

“It means a lot. Shout out to all the Crazies. They’ve been doing a great job, camping out, supporting us all year. They give us that energy, that boost that we need, and it’s been a fun ride with them.” 

When asked if he was making a conscious effort to be more assertive on offense in the second half and late in the game: 

“I pretty much do whatever the team needs me to do, whether it’s pass, rebound, take a charge, whatever it is. My job tonight was to finish it out and score some buckets. As a captain, I’ve got to lead us to the promised land and finish out games like that.” 

On what it means to win games like this at this point in the season: 

“It’s big-time for our confidence and just the continuity of our group. Seeing these wins before the [ACC] Tournament is a huge confidence boost.” 


“We’re trying to get a top-4 bid going into the [ACC] Tournament, and that was a huge game for us. We’ve had goals this whole season and we’re starting to get where we want to be, so we’re in a really good spot moving forward.” 

“I wasn’t entirely satisfied with my first-half performance. I was getting to the line, but I still knew I should’ve finished at the rim more. So I just came out there [in the second half] still with an aggressive mindset, still playing smart, trying not to [commit] any charges, things like that. This game definitely meant something to me, too, from when I first played them and how they really punched me in the mouth. I wanted to make a statement and show I’ve grown up a lot this season.” 

On Duke finishing the season undefeated at home: 

“That’s incredible. I know it’s happened 19 times in this building, but this year was the first time it happened in almost 10 years. Just doing that for the fans, shout out to the Crazies, because just going into every game, personally, I felt that we could not lose a game here. That’s just the mindset I had moving forward, that’s what we’re going to continue doing now, even in Greensboro and on the road.” 


“Just being able to grow up, I feel like at the beginning of the season it took us a little while to find ourselves, to find out who we were and who we could be, but by the end of the season, it feels like all the chips are falling into place. All we’re doing is just doing what we can each day to prepare ourselves for the next game, make sure our games get better, and make sure we get better.” 

“I feel like every game now is a physical game. You can’t shy away from physicality – you’ve got to accept it. As a big man, you’ve just got to accept your role. You’ve got to figure out what you can do to best contribute to the team, stay on the court, and you know you can win the games. I feel like my role is protecting the paint and do anything and everything I can to make sure no one scores in our paint. If that’s a post move, if that’s someone driving, if that’s someone going up for a dunk, it’s my job to take care of it. So I just feel like, no matter how much the physicality I have to deal with, getting punched in the eye, elbowed in the mouth, I’m doing everything I can and just making sure we get that W.” 

“If I was a couple months back, thinking ahead, I wouldn’t expect us to be in this position. And I’m just glad we’re in this position, honestly. Being able to go through such different emotions, different situations in games, wins and losses, it helps you build through adversity. Being able to make sure that we all have focus on being able to be here with each other and not listening to anyone else outside and not listening to anything on social media. We’re just making sure that we do what we can in the gym, so that we can do everything we can to get the win.”