The State women's basketball team plays at Duke tonight at 6:30. Duke is in second place with a 10-2 conference record, has an overall record of 23-3 and has a WarrenNolan RPI of 4. State is in third place with a conference record of 9-3, has an overall record of 22-4 and has a WarrenNolan RPI of 17.
With Chelsea Gray, Duke was rolled at home by UConn 83-61. Without Gray, Duke was rolled at home by Notre Dame 88-67. Without Gray, Duke was beaten at home by UNC 89-78 as Diamond DeShield poured in 30 points, 8 less than she poured in at State Sunday.
Note: Five-eleven All-American Chelsea Gray has been lost for the year.
Without Gray playing for Duke, I thought Maryland was a better team than Duke, but Duke at home rolled Maryland 84-63 Monday night. I still think State is better than Duke, but beating Duke at home will be difficult to impossible.
Tricia Liston is the player State has to watch. Liston is an outstanding three point shooter; however, unlike DeShields, she has to have time to get set to shoot that three. State's smaller guards can defend her at the arc if they stay in her face. If State's guards lose her, she will make them pay. While Liston can also drive to the basket, she does not have nearly the offensive skills of DeShields of UNC. In addition, six-three Haley Peters and six-three Elizabeth Williams gives Duke an inside presence and with regard to Peters, more outside presence.
Here is what I like. From Gopack:
NC STATE - DUKE SERIES HISTORY
-Thursday’s game will mark the 75th all-time meeting between NC State and Duke.
-NC State holds a 40-34 lead in the all-time series.
-The two teams first met on Feb. 20, 1975.
-NC State won the first 15 meetings between the two programs and 19 of the first 20.
It will tough to win at Duke. If State does not win, I want a close game. State has not been blown out this year. State also played UNC closer at home (89-82) than Duke did despite DeShields 38 points.