Blue Devils Stuff State By 23

Maybe things are starting to come together for the young Blue Devils. NC State would certainly agree as Duke moved to 3-2 in the ACC after beating the Wolfpack 79-56 behind a balanced attack led by Josh McRoberts.

In winning their third straight conference game, the Blue Devils did something they haven't done in nearly two seasons by putting five players in double figures. Joining McRoberts was Jon Scheyer who logged a team high 20 on 6-of-11 shooting. DeMarcus Nelson, David McClure, and Greg Paulus added 15, 10, and 13 respectively. For Paulus, it was the third straight double figure performance after scoring just six points total against Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. The sophomore point guard added four assists against two turnovers.

The tone was set early in this one as Duke jumped out to a 10-3 lead early and would maintain an advantage throughout the opening half en route to a 16 point halftime advantage. Throughout the opening 20 minutes Duke showed numerous offensive sets, and attacked the much bigger Wolfpack off the dribble relentlessly.

For a brief instance the Wolfpack seemed to not only solve the Blue Devils' offensive attack, but also their defense by cutting the Duke lead down to eight at 30-22. But Duke quickly regrouped and produced a methodical 11-0 run over a 3:40 span to push the lead to 19 before NC State's Gavin Grant was able to knock down a buzzer beating three to end the half.

With the offense seeming to click in the opening half, it was the defense that allowed Duke to sieze control. The Blue Devils scored 18 points after forcing 15 Wolfpack turnovers, which included 11 steals. Duke also held their hosts to 7-of-19 shooting in the opening 20 minutes. The game would have been completely out of hand after 20 minutes had it not been for the free throw shooting ability of NC State, who hit 9-of-11 from the line.

Things didn't improve much for State as the teams took the floor for the second half. In fact it looked as if the Wolfpack would have rather been anywhere other than facing Duke. Meanwhile the Blue Devils appeared to be the fresher team, getting into the lane with relative ease and eventually finding their stroke from the perimeter led by Scheyer and Nelson who each hit a couple of perimeter jumpers while pushing hte lead to as many as 25 before cruising to the finish line.

Redshirt freshman Brandon Costner led NC State with 20, while Courtney Fells added 13 despite missing a pair of dunks that further deflated both his team and the capacity crowd at the RBC Center.

In addition to his scoring output, McRoberts added 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks, and a career best 5 steals. Meanwhile McClure had an equally impressive floor game with 4 rebounds, and 4 steals. Freshman Gerald Henderson added 8 points before fouling out.

For the game Duke shot 53% from the field, scored 25 points off 20 Wolfpack turnovers, and held NC State to 34% shooting from the field on the day.

Duke returns to action when they face 18-2 Clemson at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Thursday night.

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