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Tyler Roche had just stolen the ball from Nolan Smith, the game’s eventual leading scorer. Corey Raji leaked out of the congestion in Duke’s offensive zone and Roche spotted him in the open frontcourt. The Boston College forward lobbed the pass perfectly over the Duke defender landing just feet ahead Raji with only blue court standing between him and the basket.
As Raji attempted to corral the pass, he slipped and fell in the paint resulting in a traveling violation. It’s how the entire second half played out every time the Eagles stepped into the paint as the Blue Devils pummeled the Eagles 79-59.
At the opposite end of the court, in the first half, Boston College thrived in the paint netting 24 of its total 35 points. The Eagles tried to establish a presence down low before the game even started. Josh Southern, at 6-foot-10, took the place of Reggie Jackson, 6-foot-3, in the starting lineup. The move worked to perfection in the opening minutes as Southern scored seven points in the first 5:37. Unfortunately he would score zero points in the final 34:23.
The rest of the Eagles followed Southern’s performance especially in the second half. Boston College finished with 10 points in the paint after the break, eight of which came in the final three minutes when the Blue Devils held a lead of at least 20. Duke’s lead blossomed to 20 due to the dependency on outside shots the Eagles developed in the second half. While BC was chucking up shots and missing them, Duke was capitalizing. They opened the second half with a 14-2 run and the two points for the Eagles were a result of a technical foul called on Jon Scheyer for tipping the BC inbounds pass before the ball crossed the baseline.
Head coach Al Skinner attempted to stop the run by calling two timeouts before the under 16 media timeout, but his team continued to focus its offensive gameplan everywhere but inside. As a result Duke’s 14-2 run evolved into a 24-7 run, putting the Blue Devils up 20. Leading the way for the Devils in their second half charge was Smith who tied a career high 24, Scheyer finishing with 12, and Kyle Singler who had 15. The trio combined to score 18 of the 24 points during Duke’s run.
As Duke’s stars flourished, Boston College’s were nonexistent. Joe Trapani and Rakim Sanders combined for 11 points. The only player who shined for the Eagles was the same player that was removed for the starting lineup, Reggie Jackson. The sophomore lead his team with 20 points, but his effort wasn’t enough. After pushing the margin to 20, the Eagles never cut the lead under 18. And when the Eagles finally started looking into the post the Blue Devils cushion was up to 25.
The Eagles drop to 1-2 in the conference and 10-7 overall. The game against Duke ended a two game conference road trip that resulted in two losses. Boston College can bounce back Saturday against ACC foe Maryland in Conte Forum.
Nolan Smith – Tied a career high with 24 points, scoring 14 in the second half.
Rakim Sanders – This moniker is becoming a trend for Sanders in BC’s losses. He finished with three points in 31 minutes of play.
11:17 – Brian Zoubeck puts in a Jon Scheyer miss putting the Blue Devils up 20, a lead from that point on would shrink never less than 18.
2 – After hanging with the Blue Devils in the first half due to scoring 24 points in the paint, BC managed just two in the first 17 minutes of the second half.
0-5 – Boston College’s record in Cameron Indoor Stadium.