Recap: Duke vs. NC State
Greensboro, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Jabari Parker scored 20 points, Rasheed Sulaimon added 16 and No. 7 Duke pulled away from NC State in the second half for a 75-67 victory in ACC Tournament semifinal action.
The Blue Devils (26-7) will try to extend their record with a 20th ACC tourney title on Sunday against Virginia, which edged Pittsburgh in a defensive slugfest earlier Saturday at Greensboro Coliseum.
Duke, which came in as the No. 3 seed, showed some shutdown ability itself in holding the Wolfpack to 35.5 percent shooting after the break.
"I think we played more connected on the defensive end. We made some subtle adjustments," said Duke's Rodney Hood. "We did a good job of helping each other out, especially in transition."
The perennial contenders received their usual balanced offensive production with 14 points apiece from Hood and Quinn Cook, and wound up shooting 57.1 percent overall.
T.J. Warren netted 21 points to lead the Wolfpack (21-13), but the conference Player of the Year missed nine of his 13 shots in the second half.
"I thought maybe we got tired in the second half. We didn't seem as fresh as we have been," NC State head coach Mark Gottfried said. "We're really disappointed but really proud."
NC State, which knocked off third-seeded Syracuse as a No. 7 seed on Friday, shot a torrid 66.7 percent (16-of-24) from the field in the first half, but still trailed 39-38 following a back-and-forth opening 20 minutes.
Ralston Turner' 3-pointer early in the second half evened things at 45-45, but the Blue Devils scored the next nine points to take control.
Hood started the run with a jumper, Parker went coast-to-coast for a tomahawk slam, and Tyler Thornton drained one from long range before coming up with a steal and dishing to Amir Jefferson for a dunk with under 14 minutes to play.
Desmond Lee stopped Duke's run with two free throws, but jumpers from Parker and Hood gave the Blue Devils their first double-digit lead at 58-47.
The Wolfpack pulled within eight after five straight points from Lennard Freeman cut the deficit to 67-59 with under three minutes to go, but the momentum swung again when Parker ripped away an offensive rebound from two defenders and threw down a two-handed slam to punctuate the victory.Game Notes
Freeman finished with 13 points and nine rebounds for NC State, which also
received a 12-point effort from Anthony Barber ... Duke is 13-2 in its last 15
trips to the ACC semifinals ... NC State was trying to reach the tourney final
for the first time since 2007 ... Duke and Virginia split the season series
with each winning on its home floor.