DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Celeste Taylor scored 21 points, Elizabeth Balogun had a double-double and No. 11 Duke pulled away from North Carolina State for a 77-62 win on Thursday night to remain tied for first in the Atlantic Coast Conference with one game to go.
Balogun had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Blue Devils (24-4, 14-3), who have won 6 of 7 heading into Sunday’s finale at home against No. 22 North Carolina. Taylor had six rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block.
Notre Dame, which closes at Louisville, is also 14-3.
Jada Boyd scored 19 points for the Wolfpack (18-10, 8-9). Jakia Brown-Turner added 12 points and Saniya Rivers 11. North Carolina State was ranked No. 6 when the visiting Blue Devils, then unranked, won the first game 72-58 on Dec. 29.
Duke started a 10-0 run midway through the third quarter to take a 49-36 lead, the first time the difference reached double figures, as N.C. State missed four straight shots.
The Blue Devils led 54-44 entering the fourth quarter and then scored the first seven points, starting with a Reigan Richardson three-point play.
Brown-Turner and Rivers hit 3s as the Wolfpack scored eight straight to get within nine with just under four minutes to go, but Taylor answered with a 3-pointer to end the threat.
The Blue Devils had four 3-pointers in the first half to one for the Wolfpack and that was the difference for Duke’s 33-30 lead.