No. 9 Duke extended its winning streak to three, maintaining momentum for Saturday’s rivalry showdown with No. 7 UNC in the regular-season finale.

The Blue Devils got off to a rough start against NC State, finding themselves in a tight game with the Wolfpack. Duke was able to pull away in the second half, securing a 79-64 victory to improve to 24-6 overall and 15-4 in ACC play. The Blue Devils won despite a monster night from NC State’s DJ Burns Jr., who led all scorers with 27 points (12-19 FG, 3-5 FT).

Here are 3 quick takeaways from Monday night’s Duke victory in Raleigh:

NC State seemingly had the game it wanted, and Duke weathered the storm

Glancing at the halftime box score, it looked like exactly the kind of night NC State would need for an upset of a top-10 team.

Duke shot 12-of-36 from the field in the first 20 minutes. Kyle Filipowski had a goose egg in the points column, while Jared McCain scored just 2 on 1-of-7 shooting from the field.

Despite all those struggles, it was 33-30 Blue Devils at the break. Out-rebounding the Wolfpack, particularly on the offensive glass, in the first half (and later in the second half), was key.

Take note, everyone, this Duke team is resilient and won’t be fazed by a little late-season adversity away from home. Sometimes, it helps to get a challenging win in March before the Madness starts.

Jared McCain, Jeremy Roach carry the load

Duke dominated the second half, shooting 62.5% from the floor after a rough first half (33.3%). Jared McCain and Jeremy Roach carried the Blue Devils to victory.

After his 1-for-7 first half, McCain snapped out of it in a big way. He was 5-of-6 in the final 20 minutes, including 3-of-4 from 3-point territory. McCain finished with 16 points, scoring 14 in the second half.

Roach was Duke’s leading scorer in the game. He was particularly strong in the second half, making 6-of-10 from the field to score 13 of his 21 points in the second half.

Sean Stewart steps up

Duke outscored NC State in bench points 17-7, and Sean Stewart is to credit. Stewart played 26 minutes off the bench, scoring 12 points. He also had 5 rebounds and 3 blocks.

Stewart scored 8 in the second half on 4-of-5 shooting. On a relatively quiet night for Kyle Filipowski (9 points, 22 minutes), Stewart’s contributions especially stood out.

It’s an exciting time to have a player like Stewart show signs of a breakout.