Coming into Conte Forum and playing the 4th game in 8 days, it was expected that the Blue Devils would be a step slow. Would Duke be able to manufacture some verve on the road against a scrappy Boston College team who’d only played twice in the month of February? The Tired legs showed early for the Blue Devils, who seemed to have weights in their sneakers as the guards for the Eagles seems to get penetration in the lane with ease often dishing to bug man James Karnik who was a force in the paint. Karnik scored 12 points off of 6-10 shooting in the first half on his way to 21 for the game, contributing to 18 paint points for the Eagles tying the Blue Devils.
The Eagles kept the first half close down 1 with 6:44 left in the first half but a 15-8 run to close the half would give the Blue Devils a working margin of 9 to end the half.
A 14 to 5 Duke run spanning the first 6 minutes of the second half lifted the Blue Devils to a 51-36 lead highlighted by 8 points from Wendell Moore, including a couple of 3 point shots. The Eagles would never get closer than 7. The Duke lead would grow to as large as 21 with the Blue Devils ultimately winning by 11.
Paolo Banchero led the Blue Devils with 16 points on 50% shooting, he also pulled down 14 rebounds and dished 3 assists. Despite 4 turnovers Wendell Moore scored 14 points and 5 rebounds, shooting 4 of 5 from beyond the arc. Trevor Keels added 13 points, shooting 5-7 from the field. Mark Williams and AJ griffin scored 10 points a piece with Williams recording 2 blocks.
The Blue Devils held the Eagles to 1-12 from beyond the arc and 40% shooting for the game overall. The Blue Devils out-rebounded Boston College 41-31 and only gave up 6 second change points.
For the Blue Devils, the second half saw them able tp dial up some energy and impose their will going to Paolo Banchero until the Eagles decided to finally double team the freshman forward, which opened up open shots for Wendell Moore Jr. and Trevor Keels. It’s easy to downplay the significance of this win but playing a much fresher team on tired legs on the road and being able to gut out a performance – and play better in the second half is testament to the talent on this team for sure but moreover it’s a step in the right direction for a team that has struggled in these types of games coming off of short weeks.