Duke women have had a really good season to date, entering the NC State game at 11-1 with the one loss being to UConn, which was no surprise.
But Thursday night’s 72-58 win over the #6 Wolfpack is by far the most impressive win of the season and, indeed, of Kara Lawson’s first three years at Duke.
The game started slow and NC State pulled out to an 18-10 lead. But Duke fought back and pulled ahead 24-23 with 3:59 left in the second quarter and never trailed again.
NC State’s Wes Moore, who has done a brilliant job in Raleigh, was impressed, saying “They came in here and just, in simple terms, kicked our butts. They took us out of anything we wanted to do offensively. ... Duke just came in here and took it.”
Yes they did: the Blue Devils held State to 21-61 from the floor and just 3-7 on threes. Duke also forced 18 turnovers although they had 17 of their own.
Celeste Taylor had 23 points and eight boards to lead Duke while Liz Balogun had 16 points and seven boards of her own. Shayeann Day-Wilson had 10 points and seven assists.
It’s quite a win and coming on the heels of Duke’s win in the Military Bowl, it’s been a heck of. week for Duke athletics.
Duke is currently unranked but got 18 votes this week, finishing 27th behind Louisville in the AP Poll. So it seems likely that if Duke wins that game, they’ll be ranked.