Liston leads No. 6 Duke women past NC State, 79-65
(Eds: No. 6 Duke 79, N.C. State 65. Updates with details. With AP Photos.)
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - Tricia Liston scored 10 of her 26 points during a timely run that carried No. 6 Duke past pesky North Carolina State 79-65 on Friday in an Atlantic Coast Conference quarterfinal.
Freshman Alexis Jones added 17 points for the top-seeded Blue Devils (28-2). They shot just under 44 percent and made a season-high 12 3-pointers, and advance to face No. 23 Florida State (22-8) on Saturday in a semifinal.
Marissa Kastanek scored 18 points for the eighth-seeded Wolfpack (16-16), who were in prime position to claim a second straight quarterfinal victory over the rival Blue Devils when Kastanek's layup with 7 minutes left put N.C. State up 57-53.
Duke then outscored the Wolfpack 24-5 during the next 6-plus minutes, with Liston doing most of the damage.
Her 3-pointer with 6:15 left put the Blue Devils ahead to stay at 58-57, and she added another 3 and went 4 of 4 from the free-throw line during the run. Her foul shot with 45.3 seconds left put Duke up 77-62.
Elizabeth Williams and Richa Jackson each scored 13 points and Liston added 11 rebounds - 10 on the defensive glass - for Duke, which outrebounded the Wolfpack by 12.
Markeisha Gatling scored 16 points and Myisha Goodwin-Coleman added 12 on four 3-pointers for the Wolfpack, who missed 10 of 12 shots during Duke's run and - for the first time under fourth-year coach Kellie Harper - will exit the ACC tournament without beating at least one higher-seeded team.
N.C. State - which always seems to give Duke fits - stunned the Blue Devils at this stage of last year's tournament, claiming a 75-73 victory over top-seeded Duke exactly 53 weeks earlier.
Then, the Blue Devils' 67-57 win on Jan. 3 wound up being one of their closest games all season.
So when Duke took a 42-33 lead at the end of the first half, chances were good that it wouldn't hold up - and it didn't.
After allowing the Blue Devils to shoot 50 percent in the first half, N.C. State clamped down on defense and gave up just three field goals in the first 13 minutes of the half while rallying to regain the lead.
Gatling's basket with 11 1/2 minutes left put N.C. State up 51-50, and Goodwin-Coleman's 3-pointer on the next possession gave the Wolfpack a four-point lead.