Duke basketball shows championship abilities once again with dominant second half

The Blue Devils have a ton of momentum heading into the regular season finale

Mar 4, 2024; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Jeremy Roach (3) smiles during the
Mar 4, 2024; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Jeremy Roach (3) smiles during the / Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports
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It's March and the Duke basketball team has put together two of its best games of the season.

After its 25-point victory against Virginia on Saturday, the Blue Devils quickly turned around and played North Carolina State on Monday night in Raleigh.

Similar to last season's game in Miami, Duke was not competitive against the Wolfpack on the road, losing by 24 points, and things started very similar with a 9-0 NC State run to begin the game.

However, Duke would settle down and outscore the Wolfpack (17-13, 9-10 ACC) 33-21 over the final 17 minutes of the first half and roll that momentum into the second half during its 79-64 victory.

It was the guards who shined as Jeremy Roach led the way with 21 points as Jared McCain added 16 points and Tyrese Proctor contributed 11 points.

But it was neither of that trio who made the biggest impact on the game. That honor belonged to freshman forward Sean Stewart.

The rookie went for 12 points and five rebounds in 26 minutes, a career-high, while being a team-best +20 on the floor.

It was the most impact he's had this year in a meaningful game and is emerging as a legitimate piece off the bench that Jon Scheyer can rely on over the last three games. Stewart played more minutes than Kyle Filipowski, Mark Mitchell, and Ryan Young.

He scored just four points less and those three players combined, who added 16 for the Blue Devils.

Duke shot 62.5-percent from the floor in the second half and never trailed in the final 12 minutes of the game.

The No. 10 Blue Devils (24-6, 15-4 ACC) will look to clinch at least a share of the ACC regular season title on Saturday night (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) in its rematch against No. 7 North Carolina (23-6, 15-3 ACC).