No. 3 Duke women beat NC State 67-57

AARON BEARD AP Basketball Writer Published:

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Kody Burke did her best to overcome a quiet first half and North Carolina State's second-half deficit Thursday night.

The 6-foot-2 junior scored 11 of her 15 points after halftime in the Wolfpack's 67-57 loss to No. 3 Duke, including a late 3-pointer that kept N.C. State in the game after the Blue Devils threatened to pull away.

Burke came in averaging a team-best 15.3 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, but managed just four points on 2-for-5 shooting in the opening 20 minutes.

She looked more assertive after the break, going 4 for 5 from the field to go with a pair of 3s on an otherwise cold-shooting night for the Wolfpack.

Burke had the three-point play that stood as N.C. State's only points during the game-turning run by the Blue Devils, then came through with a 3 with 1:34 left that brought the Wolfpack to within 61-55.

Burke finished with six rebounds in 35 minutes.

"I want to say I had more energy in the second half for some reason," Burke said. "And I feel like our guards just really looked for me, and I feel like most of our points come from us being unselfish."

For Duke, Haley Peters had 18 points and 11 rebounds in a strong all-around performance.

Chelsea Gray added 20 points and six rebounds for the Blue Devils (12-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who had to fight into the final minutes to put away the Wolfpack.

Duke led by just one with 8 minutes left before going on a 12-3 spurt, with Peters scoring on an offensive rebound and knocking down a 3-pointer during that flurry.

That helped the Blue Devils retake control and build a 10-point lead with 3:18 left, then hold on down the stretch.

The Wolfpack (8-6, 0-2) kept fighting and pulled as close as four points in the final minute, but never could make up that deficit.

Gray also got active during the run, repeatedly getting to the line and knocking down all eight of her free throws in the final 8 minutes.

Marissa Kastanek added 12 points for N.C. State, which shot just 32 percent.

Duke didn't fare much better, shooting just 39 percent with only Peters making better than half her shots.

But the Blue Devils helped themselves by grabbing 19 offensive rebounds, which led to 13 second-chance points.

After N.C. State closed within 61-57 with 47.6 seconds left, Duke scored the game's last six points -- all coming at the free-throw line.

The Blue Devils made 16 of 20 free throws after halftime compared to a 6-for-9 performance by the Wolfpack.

Duke has won eight straight meetings in Raleigh, though this was the Blue Devils' first since rallying from a 20-point second-half deficit to win 65-64 on Gray's last-second basket nearly two years ago.

But the Wolfpack had earned the program's first win against the Blue Devils in five years in March during the ACC tournament.

In that game, N.C. State held on for a 75-73 quarterfinal win against the then-No. 5 Blue Devils, marking the first time in tournament history that the No. 1 seed had failed to reach the semifinals.