Duke basketball shakes stubborn Boston College. 3 takeaways from No. 9 Blue Devils’ win

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Balanced scoring and solid defense allowed No. 9 Duke to keep rolling in ACC play on Saturday.

All five starters scored in double figures, led by Mark Mitchell’s 17 points, as the Blue Devils led for all but two minutes to post an 80-65 win over Boston College at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Kyle Filipowski and Jeremy Roach each scored 16 points while Jared McCain added 11 and Tyrese Proctor 10 for Duke (18-5, 9-3 ACC).

Winners of 13 of their past 15 games, the Blue Devils shot 50% in the second half to lead by as many as 17 points after holding a 36-32 halftime lead. Duke finished at 47.6% overall while making 10 of 30 3-pointers.

Boston College (13-10, 4-8 ACC) shot 40.7% while making only 5 of 26 (19.2%) of its 3-pointers.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

Defending Post

Boston College 7-foot center Quinten Post is always the focus of an opposing team’s defensive plan against the Eagles. Post entered Saturday averaging 16.4 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, having hit 43.3% of his 3-point attempts and 51% of his shots overall.

The Blue Devils’ interior combination of starters Filipowski and Mitchell, with reserves Ryan Young and Sean Stewart, made things unusually difficult for Post on Saturday to help Duke win.

Post attempted just five shots from the field, making two, while scoring eight points.

Post has attempted 10 or more shots in 16 of Boston College’s 22 games this season.

Duke’s Jared McCain (0) looks to get around Boston College’s Mason Madsen (45) during the first half of Duke’s game against Boston College at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024.
Duke’s Jared McCain (0) looks to get around Boston College’s Mason Madsen (45) during the first half of Duke’s game against Boston College at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024.

Blue Devils’ ball protection

One of the ACC’s top teams when it comes to not committing turnovers, Duke appears to have reversed what had been a short dip in that area of its play.

Duke had only seven turnovers against Boston College, committing only three in the first half. The Blue Devils had nine in their 71-53 win over Notre Dame on Wednesday night.

In the previous two games, Duke turned it over 11 times while losing 93-84 at North Carolina and a season-worst 14 times in a 77-67 win at Virginia Tech.

Duke entered play on Saturday averaging 9.7 times in ACC play and 9.5 for the season. According to KenPom.com, Duke was No. 2 in the ACC in turnover percentage, committing turnovers on 14.3% of its possessions against league foes.

The national average is 17.4% and Duke is at 13.7% for the season overall.

Duke’s Tyrese Proctor (5) shoots as Boston College’s Claudell Harris Jr. (1) defends during the first half of Duke’s game against Boston College at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024.
Duke’s Tyrese Proctor (5) shoots as Boston College’s Claudell Harris Jr. (1) defends during the first half of Duke’s game against Boston College at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024.

Duke regains 3-point shot

Standing No. 24 nationally in 3-point accuracy (37.5%), Duke found itself in an uncharacteristic slump in that department entering Saturday.

The Blue Devils were 9 of 37 (24.3%) over the previous two games. That negative trend continued in the first half when Duke hit just 4 of 16 (25%).

But that changed in the second half, allowing the Blue Devils to open up a big lead over Boston College. Duke hit 5 of 11 3-point attempts over the first 12 minutes after halftime, turning what had been a four-point Duke halftime lead into a 65-48 Blue Devils advantage with 8:17 to play.

Five different Duke players hit the 3-pointers in that key second-half surge as Roach, McCain, Mitchell, Filipowski and Proctor all sank them.