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Roach, McCain help No. 9 Duke push past NC State after halftime in 79-64 win

Mon, Mar 4, 2024
NCAAB News (AP)

Roach, McCain help No. 9 Duke push past NC State after halftime in 79-64 win

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Jeremy Roach had 21 points and freshman Jared McCain scored 14 of his 16 after halftime to help No. 9 Duke pull away and beat North Carolina State 79-64 on Monday night.

McCain shot 5 of 7 after the break for the Blue Devils (24-6, 15-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), who went from battling through a cold-shooting first half that put them in a 9-0 hole to riding a hot-shooting tear after the break. Two of McCain's 3-pointers came during a blistering run of eight straight made shots, turning a one-point deficit into a 64-52 lead on Roach's layup at the 7:46 mark.

Duke star big man Kyle Filipowski had just nine points while being limited by first-half foul trouble. But the Blue Devils offset that with a big performance from 6-foot-9 freshman reserve Sean Stewart, who had 12 points, five rebounds, three blocks and two steals in 26 minutes.

Duke shot 62.5% (20 of 32) after halftime and finished with a season-high 19 offensive rebounds, leading to 23 second-chance points - with much of that work coming before halftime.

Burly big man DJ Burns Jr. had a season-high 27 points on 12-for-19 shooting to lead the Wolfpack (17-13, 9-10), but leading scorer DJ Horne (17.6 points per game) had just eight points on eight shots.

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It marked the Wolfpack's third consecutive loss and fourth in five games.

BIG PICTURE

Duke: The Blue Devils have been hovering right behind No. 7 North Carolina atop the ACC standings. This win kept them on course to claim at least a share of the regular-season title by beating UNC in the schedule finale. Duke has won three straight games by double-figure margins.

N.C. State: The Wolfpack's NCAA resume looked iffy coming into Monday with a No. 80 NET and a 1-6 record in Quadrant 1 games, with the lone win at Clemson (25th in NET) on Feb. 17. Beating the Blue Devils (10th) would have provided a jolt of optimism, though there would've been work still ahead at the ACC Tournament. Instead, this ended up as another missed opportunity for a team on a trek to the wrong side of the bubble.

UP NEXT

Duke: The Blue Devils host the rival Tar Heels on Saturday.

N.C. State: Plays at Pittsburgh on Saturday night.

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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball

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