Wolfpack battles hard before Duke pulls out a tough road win

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Duke’s Haley Peters blocks a Krystal Barrett shot while State’s Kody Burke (44) and the Blue Devils’ Tricia Liston (32) look on.
  • Photo by Chris Baird
  • Duke’s Haley Peters blocks a Krystal Barrett shot while State’s Kody Burke (44) and the Blue Devils’ Tricia Liston (32) look on.
REYNOLDS COLISEUM/RALEIGH It’s the first of the season’s showdowns between the Triangle’s ACC teams.
No. 3 Duke (11-0, 1-0 ACC) will be a solid favorite tonight against host N.C. State (8-5, 0-1), and the Blue Devils have a score to settle against a team that always seems to give them fits whenever the game isn’t in Durham.

The Wolfpack’s biggest win in quite a while came in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum last March, as they ousted the Blue Devils 75-73 to become the first No. 9 seed to beat the top seeded team in the field.

And in the teams’ last meeting here, Duke needed a layup from Chelsea Gray in the closing seconds to complete a long comeback in a 65-64 win. But the Wolfpack’s last win over Duke here was in 2001.

The Wolfpack fights gamely once again, but the Blue Devils pull away over the last couple of minutes and survive 67-57.

Duke guard Chelsea Gray looks for an opening.
Duke takes a solid lead early, going up 19-10 on a Haley Peters layup with 11:56 left in the first half.

But there will be no blowout tonight.

State takes its first lead on a Krystal Barrett layup that makes it 24-23 with 6:42 left in the first half, and there are three more lead changes and a tie before Duke takes a 31-28 lead into the locker room.

State ties it at 32-32 on a Burke layup with 17:52 to play, but Peters answers with a jumper 13 seconds later and the Blue Devils lead the rest of the way.

After Duke goes up 40-33 on a Richa Jackson jumper with 13:15 left, the Wolfpack cuts the lead back to 45-44 on a pair of Myisha Goodwin-Coleman free throws with 7:54 to play.

Duke takes its biggest lead at 61-50 on a pair of Gray free throws with 2:27 to go. The Wolfpack makes another run, cutting it to 61-57 on two Len’Nique Brown free throws with 47 seconds left.

But Duke hits six of eight free throws down the stretch to seal it.

Gray finishes with 20 points followed by Peters with 18 points and 11 rebounds — her second straight double-double — and Alexis Jones with 12.

Burke paces the Wolfpack with 15 points including a pair of 3-pointers, while Marissa Kastanek chips in 12 points with two 3-pointers.

Duke shoots 39.3 percent to State’s 32.1, pulls down 46 rebounds to the Wolfpack’s 35 and commits 14 turnovers to the hosts’ 13.

They said it …

Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie: “It was a great defensive basketball game for us. If you take away the 12 points they made on ‘3s’ by people who don’t usually shoot them (Kiana Evans hit the first two of her career), it was an incredible defensive performance by Duke so we’re happy about that. I was very proud of Haley — she battled all night long. They have some nice big bodies and Haley was just tough with aggressive rebounding and making things happen.”

State coach Kellie Harper: “I’m really proud of our kids, with their intensity and their fight. Duke is a really good basketball team, but we’ll try again next time. I think we have a chance to beat any team in our league playing like this.”

Gray: “During halftime, Coach stressed that we needed to get to the basket. I think we shot only three free throws in the first half, and we weren’t going to get what we wanted if we didn’t attack the rim.”

Burke: “I had more energy in the second half for some reason. I feel like our guards really just look for me — I feel like a lot of my points come from our guards being unselfish.”

What does it all mean?

That Duke continues to roll on, and State is capable of playing at a very high level on given nights.

Stars of the game
1. Gray.
2. Peters.
3. Burke.

Play of the game
Peters’ 3-pointer to make it 53-47 with 6:00 left.

Streaks
Duke: Won 12.
State: Lost 1.

Series
State leads 40-33.

Up next
Duke at Boston College, Sunday, 1 p.m.
State at Wake Forest, Sunday, 2 p.m.

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