Duke Nips BC 83-81 to Remain Perfect

Early in the second half it seemed as though No. 2 Duke was on the way to another easy Atlantic Coast Conference victory. Leading by 18, the Blue Devil offense was clicking on all cylinders while the Eagles looked confused and beaten. However, Boston College soon rallied and pushed the game to the final seconds before Duke escaped with a two point victory, 83-81.

J.J. Redick scored 28 points, despite an off shooting night, while fellow All-American Shelden Williams added 21 points, six rebounds, and seven blocks to keep Duke's conference record unblemished.

After cutting the lead to one on a Jared Dudley basket with just 15 seconds remaining, the Eagles fouled Redick on the inbounds pass. The Duke senior converted both attempts to push the lead to 81-78. Boston College, which had shot well from the perimeter for much of the night, declined to even attempt a three pointer to tie and chose to drive the ball into the heart of a soft Duke defense, looking for a basket and the foul.

But Tyrese Rice couldn't convert the lay-up over Williams, nor was he awarded the foul on the Duke big man despite pleas from the capacity crowd in the Conte Forum. Williams calmly sank two free throws at the other end to effectively ice the game.

Dudley led the Eagles with a season high 28 points, but fellow star Craig Smith was held scoreless in the second half, and to just eight points on the night. Smith did, however, lead the team in rebounds (8), assists (5), and steals (3).

In what was hyped to be the premiere ACC match up of the season, the two teams traded mini runs throughout the first 13 minutes of actions, as the lead changed hands seven times during that period. But Duke would put together a 16-5 run that put the Devils on top for good.

The first half ended with Duke seemingly poised to run away with the victory after extending the margin to 44-34. The game seemed to be nearly in the bag with just over 12 minutes remaining and Duke up 61-43, but Boston College would claw their way back and set up the memorable finish.

With Redick and Williams giving their usual production, the Blue Devils also got the top effort of Josh McRoberts' young career. The 6-foot-10 big forward, starting his third consecutive game scored 14 points, grabbed five rebounds, and shot 6-of-7 from the free throw line. Senior Sean Dockery added 12 points.

The win improves the Blue Devils to 20-1 overall and 8-0 in the ACC.


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