That was unpleasant.
NC State did not have anything close to its A-game on Thursday night, but Duke sure did. The Wolfpack just never got going offensively in this one, while the Blue Devils used hot shooting to carry them. Duke just shot the ball a whole lot better than State, and that’s all there is to it.
The first quarter in particular was gruesome, though gruesome for both sides as State managed a 13-10 lead thanks to Jakia Brown-Turner’s buzzer-beating halfcourt shot. That unfortunately was not a sign of good things to come.
Looked like it was at first, as State scored the first six points of the second quarter, but Duke rallied, and then the Pack’s offense died completely. Duke outscored State 16-0 over the last five minutes of the half to assert control of the game and take a 12-point lead into the break.
NC State would fight back, of course, and the team did what it could on the boards to make up for all of the missed shots, but they didn’t have it tonight. Duke was able to pull away in the waning minutes for the easy win.
Duke was lethal from beyond the arc, finishing 9-14, and the Blue Devils made all 15 of their free throw attempts. What can you do.
The Pack, meanwhile, shot just 33.3% inside the arc—Mimi Collins and River Baldwin were non-factors, Camille Hobby was only 4-9 from the field, and JBT finished 4-13 with six turnovers.
The turnovers were the extra nail in the coffin—can’t turn the ball over a quarter of the time and shoot like crap and expect to find a path to victory. State would have needed a large advantage in the turnover column to pull this one out and it was not to be.
Just a brutal performance that NC State should just toss in the trash without a second thought and move on from.