No. 1 Duke downs NC State, 79-65
Tricia Liston Leads Duke to the Semifinals
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Duke Blue Devils outlasted the upset-minded NC State Wolfpack, 79-65, in a game that featured six lead changes on Friday afternoon at the Greensboro Coliseum. Junior guard Tricia Liston had a game-high 26 points for Duke, including six 3-pointers.
Duke’s Alexis Jones, who was named to the All-ACC Freshman Team earlier in the week, followed Liston in scoring with 17 points and a team-high eight assists.
Senior guard Marissa Kastanek led the Wolfpack offense, tallying 18 points in her 37 minutes of play.
Duke and NC State took turns trading 3-pointers all game, combining to sink 20 from behind the arc. The Blue Devils connected on an ACC Tournament record-tying 12 3-pointers.
Markeisha Gatling led the Wolfpack in the first half with 12 of her 16 points, as NC State shot 43.3 percet. Jones and Liston combined for 26 points to lead the Blue Devils, who shot 50 percent from the field and entered the locker room with a 42-33 lead.
The Wolfpack chipped away at the Duke lead in the first few minutes of the second half and Kastanek tied the game at 49-49 with 12:36 remaining.
Another layup by Kastanek with just over seven minutes left in the game gave NC State their largest lead at 57-53, but a basket by Elizabeth Williams and a 3-pointer from Liston sparked a 26-8 Blue Devil run to close out the game.
Duke clinched a spot in the semifinals with the final score of 79-65. The Blue Devils are now 5-6 against NC State in the ACC Tournament and will face No. 4 seed Florida State in the first game of the semifinals on Saturday, March 9 at 1 p.m.