The Blue Devils entered Saturday looking for marked improvement from their performance against Notre Dame – a team noted for muddying up games and holding opponents to under their scoring average. Boston College entered Saturday in need of a signature win. It was obvious from the first possession Duke was looking to run and bury the Eagles early but Earl Grant’s team was not having that initially.
The Blue Devils jumped out to an early 7 point lead within the first 5 minutes of the first half but the Eagles continued to claw back even overtaking the Blue Devils with 4:47 left in the first half. The Blue Devils have been notorious at closing halves poorly and this would be a perfect chance to work out those kinks, something Jon Scheyer noted that they’d practiced more of recently. The Blue Devils would turn that 2 point Boston College lead to a 4 point lead of their own – baby steps.
The second half saw a much more energized Duke team defensively. Duke utilized the first 10:40 of the second half to go on a 23-12 run that featured 10 points by sophomore Mark Mitchell who lead the Blue Devils in scoring at 17 for the game. Mitchell who came into the game shooting extremely poorly from 3 made both of this 3 point attempts and also grabbed 7 boards in the win. The Blue Devils are now 28-3 in games where Mitchell scores at least 10 points. The Blue Devils would coast to a 15 point home win 80-65 taking their record to 18-5 and 9-3 in the ACC.
The Blue Devils boasted 5 players in double figures including freshman Jared McCain, who despite a poor shooting night, scored 11 points and led the Blue Devils in both assists (5) and rebounds (10). The double-double was the third of his career. It was McCain’s fifth career game of double-digit boards, and third in the last four contests Jeremy Roach and Kyle Filipowski posted 16 points each and added 7 assists collectively. Tyrese Proctor also added double-digit scoring with 10 points including a thunderous breakaway dunk.
The Blue Devils’ 19 assists equal a season-high against ACC opponents. Duke also distributed 19 against Virginia Tech (Jan. 29), Pittsburgh (Jan. 9) and Syracuse (Jan. 2). Duke’s defense held Boston College to 65 points, 10.7 points below its season average of 75.7. The Blue Devils have held 20 of their 23 opponents to below their respective scoring average.