Canadian RJ Barrett has triple-double, No. 2 Duke beats NC State, 94-78
Canadian RJ Barrett had Duke’s first triple-double in 13 years, finishing with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in the second-ranked Blue Devils’ 94-78 victory over North Carolina State on Saturday night.
Zion Williamson scored 32 points on 12-of-16 shooting and Tre Jones added 13 to help the Blue Devils (23-2, 11-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) win their ninth straight.
Barrett, from Mississauga, Ont., became the fourth Duke player with a triple-double and the first since Shelden Williams in January 2006. He completed it in the final minute, hitting Williamson for a layup that put Duke up 90-74.
Duke overcame 19 per cent shooting from 3-point range by building a 44-26 rebounding advantage and scoring 22 points off N.C. State’s 12 turnovers.
Markell Johnson had 16 points and 10 assists, Torin Dorn scored 17 points and C.J. Bryce added 13 points for the Wolfpack (18-8, 6-7), who had their two-game winning streak snapped.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack played like a team that believed it could beat Duke – because they had, winning each of the last two meetings – and kept coming up with an answer when the Blue Devils tried to pull away. But their struggles to keep Duke from scoring in the paint – the Blue Devils had 58 points there – kept them from their first three-game winning streak in the series since 1987-88.
Duke: The Blue Devils didn’t need a rally in this one, unlike their victory at Louisville four nights earlier in which they stormed back after trailing by 23 with less than 10 minutes left. They kept one neighbourhood rival at arm’s length all night – though they never really delivered a knockout blow – and now they can focus on a bigger one: No. 8 North Carolina, which comes in Wednesday night.
IN THE SEATS
There was even more buzz inside Cameron Indoor Stadium for this one, with boxer Floyd Mayweather sitting directly behind the Duke bench and next to former Blue Devils guard Quinn Cook. Among the handful of other NBA players in attendance was Minnesota’s Tyus Jones, the older brother of the current Duke point guard, and Phoenix’s T.J. Warren, a Durham native and former N.C. State star who was in the stands with NBA All-Star Weekend taking place 2 hours away in Charlotte.