Duke basketball survives rally from NC State, goes unbeaten in Cameron

Duke basketball guard Jeremy Roach (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball guard Jeremy Roach (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Duke basketball team defeated NC State to clinch its perfect home record this season. 

It felt like this script has been seen before for the Duke basketball team.

Similarly to victories against Wake Forest and Notre Dame, the Blue Devils looked to be in control against North Carolina State until it wasn’t.

A 12-point lead, 65-53, with 2:06 to play was all of a sudden just a 4-point game, 65-61, with 53 seconds left.

It felt like a thoroughbred racehorse waiting for its competition to get closer in the stretch before pulling away at the finish line.

However, as they typically do, the Duke thoroughbreds were ready to win the game away at the free throw line behind Jeremy Roach and Tyrese Proctor with the last six points.

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Roach posted his fifth 20-point game of the season while Proctor struggled from the field, making just 2-of-8 shots but his touch from the charity stripe was vital in the 71-67 victory.

Duke (22-8, 13-6 ACC) certainly did not play its best game of the season on Tuesday night despite four players cracking double figures with the team shooting a horrid 2-of-19 from 3-point range and only managed six total assist on 23 made field goals.

Taking positives away from Duke basketball victory over NC State

However, beauty can be seen in the victory for Jon Scheyer’s team.

The Blue Devils were aggressive in getting to the free throw line and efficient when the chances presented itself making 23-of-29 attempts and only turning the ball over 10 times.

The defense was once again sensational allowing the Wolfpack (22-9, 12-8 ACC) to shoot just 38.2-percent from the floor and 28.6-percent from distance while only attempting eight free throws and Duke won the rebounding battle, 44-35.

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Victories in March (or the last day of February) do not have to be pretty. They just have to be wins.

Duke has racked up the victories inside Cameron Indoor Stadium this season, 16 to be exact, and the Blue Devils have won five games in a row heading into the regular season finale in Chapel Hill on Saturday night (6:30p.m. ET, ESPN).

Scheyer’s squad also locked up a finish no worse than fifth place in the ACC regular season and could climb as high as second place if everything breaks their way in the final days of the year.