Boston College stuns #1 Duke 89- 84

Boston College stuns #1 Duke 89- 84

The Boston College Eagles took a break from their non-conference schedule to open play in the ACC. It wasn’t just any team they welcomed to Chesnutt Hill. On this day it was the number one ranked team in the nation, the Duke Blue Devils, that came calling. The series to this point has been one-sided with the Blue Devils winning the last 11 in a row, and 18 of 20. So would Saturday afternoon be any different?

Before a sold-out Conte Forum that was rocking from the opening tip. Boston College won behind the hot shooting of guards Jerome Robinson 24 points, Jordan Chatman 22 points, and a game-high 30 from Ky Bowman. The Eagles did what most fans thought was the unthinkable by beating Duke 89 to 84.

In his postgame comments, Blue Devils Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski said the same thing several times, “BC was terrific”. The final numbers would bear him out.
Boston College was outstanding on the perimeter, shooting 50.8% for the game (31-61), and even deadlier from behind the arc, 57.7% (15-26). They were able to hang with the Duke big men on the glass, outrebounding them 35 to 34, including a plus four on the defensive end. They had five more assists than there visitors 18 to 13. As Coach K also pointed out afterward, “we were beaten by a better team today”.

The first half story was really the entire game recap. Could BC’s outside game hang with Duke’s big men?. The answer was yes. Despite being outscored in the paint by a 28 to 8 margin, the Eagles hung in there because of their red-hot shooting. They went 17 of 30 (56%) for the half, 11 of 16 (68%) from deep. The half featured four lead changes, with BC having the biggest lead at 48-39 on a Bowman layup with 23 seconds left in first half. There were also 11 lead changes in the half as well. The number one team in the land was in for a fight on a cold and snowy day in Newton.

If you know anything about college basketball and Duke then you figured out the Blue Devils would come out swinging in half number two. On this day BC fought back harder. Chatman opened the half knocking down a three to give BC a ten point lead at 51- 41, 11 seconds into the half. A layup from Nik Popovic (eight points and seven boards), kept the lead at ten 53-43 with 17:56 to play. Then an old-fashioned three-point play by Bowman made it 56 to 46 with 15:36 left.

Duke responded with a 6-0 run, on back to back three point baskets by Marvin Bagley (15 points and 12 rebounds his tenth double-double of the season and his seven straight), and from Grayson Allen (14 points on 5-20 shooting) to trim the lead to four at 56-52 with 14:54 to play. The Blue Devils would then tie the game at 58 apiece on another 6-0 spurt, started by a jumper by Devon Ducal (10 points), and finished by a Javin DeLaurier layup.

The Eagles came right back with a 6-0 run of their own to show the home crowd they meant business on Saturday. With the score 64-58 Eagles, it was Duke’s turn to flex some muscle. A five-point swing, a layup from Duval, then a steal and a three-point play from Allen brought Duke to within one at 64-63 with 9:39 to go.

Down the stretch, it was the Eagles guards that would step up and take the game over. Two big threes from Robinson, clutch free throw shooting from Chatman, and Bowman handling the ball and making shots proved to be too much for Duke. Afterwards, Coach K would praise both Bowman and Robinson calling their play “terrific”. Final score from Conte BC 89 Duke 84.

For his part, BC head man Jim Christian credited his team with making “so many winning plays”. He thought the team had a great week of practice to get ready for the challenge of Duke. Robinson said afterward this win would be a “memory of a lifetime”. The win was probably more meaningful to the players because of the season-ending knee surgery that grad student Deontae Hawkins went through on Friday night. The coach said the surgery lasted six hours, yet Hawkins was in attendance helping his team as much as he could from behind the bench.

When the horn sounded, the fans stormed the floor in a mass celebration of pure elation.

The win gets BC off to a good start in conference play (1-0 and 7-3 overall), Duke is 0-1 and 11-1 overall.

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