Duke holds off NC State, 92-89, advances to ACC Tournament quarterfinals
Duke (23-9, 12-7 ACC) advances to Thursday’s quarterfinals to face Notre Dame (20-10, 11-7 ACC).
NC State (16-17, 6-14 ACC) hung around, hung around and hung around some more, on the strength of a sublime performance by point guard Cat Barber, who finished with a game-high 29 points and seven assists.
With Brandon Ingram and Luke Kennard (22 each) and Grayson Allen (19) bombing away from the perimeter, it was Plumlee who was the difference-maker for the Blue Devils
The seven-foot senior finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds, and also contributed four blocked shots on the defensive end.
His rebound of an Ingram missed runner and stickback broke an 89-all tie. Maverick Rowan missed awkwardly from three with 1:01 to go, with Plumlee snaring the rebound.
State got the ball back after a Cody Martin steal. Barber tried to find Rowan off a pair of screens, but when Rowan couldn’t shake free, Barber tried to drive into the paint. Plumlee cut him off at the rim and forced an errant pass.
Kennard ended up with the ball on the Duke end of the court and was fouled with two seconds left. He missed the front end of a one-and-one, and the Pack called timeout with 1.4 seconds on the clock to try to set up a final play.
Barber got off a half-court heave, but it was well off the mark.