Streak Busters: Duke Beats BC

Entering Wednesday night's game in Chestnut Hill against Boston College the simple fact was that Duke needed a victory in the worst way. That's just what the Blue Devils earned behind an inspired team effort, beating league leading Boston College 78-70.

Sophomore Josh McRoberts led the Blue Devils with 18 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists, while classmate Greg Paulus added 15 points and 7 assists against 3 turnovers to help Duke even its ACC record at 6-6 on the season.

During the four game losing streak before Wednesday's win, Duke's offense was stagnant for long stretches, which seemed to become amplified with every passing contest. Against the Eagles, however, Blue Devils struck early and often - using a balanced attack to storm out to a 43-32 halftime advantage.

As the game went along Duke's commitment to driving and attacking the basket became apparent - something the Blue Devils had not done in any of their previous four games. The result was a huge advantage in points in the paint. As well as a final tally of 56% from the field.

The defensive game plan to neutralize ACC Player of the Year candidate Jared Dudley worked to perfection as the Boston College star managed two first half points against three personal fouls. Had it not been for the brilliance of guard Tyrese Rice, the game would have been out of reach at intermission.

After the Eagles tied the game at 29 on a Rice jumper, Duke responded with a 14-3 run over the final 4:48 of the half to build the lead.

Early in the second half Duke would extend the lead to 21 on a Gerald Henderson breakaway dunk to make it 59-38 with 15:58 remaining prompting the Eagles to spend a timeout in an effort to stop the Duke offense. It wouldn't matter as the Blue Devils continued to capitalize on the mounting number of Boston College mistakes, which allowed the lead to balloon to as many as 24 on a Jon Scheyer layup with 12:47 remaining.

At that point the Blue Devils began attempting to take time off the clock, which slowed the offensive momentum and allowed Boston College a small glimmer of hope. The Eagles would capitalize on the change in Duke's demeanor with a 12-0 run to cut the lead to 65-53 with 7:32 remaining.

The lead would shrink to 8 after Sean Marshall buried a three pointer with 2:59 remaining as Duke continued to run time off the clock. After another missed opportunity on the next Blue Devil possession, the Eagles closed to within six on a pair of Marshall free throws with 2:20 left.

An unforced turnover by Paulus ensued, and Boston College came back, but a Gerald Henderson steal sprung Paulus on a break away to make it an eight point game with 1:21 remaining. After Henderson made a driving lay up on the next possession, Duke was able to celebrate a tremendous conference victory.

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