On Saturday afternoon, the Boston College Eagles men’s basketball team faced off against the #9-ranked Duke Blue Devils down in Durham, NC. Duke came into the game as winners of 12 of their last 14 games, an incredible hot streak that has catapulted them into the top-10 nationally. Meanwhile BC struggled in January, but had won two of their last three games and just narrowly dropped a close home game against FSU this week. Duke continued their hot streak on Saturday and won handily over the Eagles, 80-65.
Duke started out the game hot on offense right away, dominating the offensive glass and creating second chance opportunities that allowed them to take a quick 7-point lead a few minutes into the ballgame. Boston College was getting a big contribution from Mason Madsen, though, who made just his second start of the season and had 9 points already in just the first 8 minutes of the game. Alongside some great work inside the paint from Devin McGlockton, the Eagles stayed in it early, but missed three-pointers and free throws prevented them from taking a lead over the Blue Devils.
Duke pushed the pace on the other end and took advantage of BC’s poor transition defense, with star center Kyle Filipowski making an early impact as Duke expanded their lead to close to 10 points at some points. But BC’s Jaeden Zackery scored six points in a row with his midrange shot and then fed his teammates Devin McGlockton and Claudell Harris in transition for a big BC run that finally gave the Eagles a 1-point lead of their own. But Duke finished the half out strong and took a 36-32 lead into halftime.
The Blue Devils came out of halftime fired up, immediately going on a 7-0 run while the BC offense couldn’t get out of its own way. A shot clock violation and a few ill-advised shots allowed Duke to get the ball back to score while Quinten Post looked lost on both ends of the floor. Filipowski and Jeremy Roach led the way in the scoring to give Duke a double-digit lead and BC’s defense once again got exposed in transition and from three-point range, two of their biggest weaknesses all season. The Duke lead climbed to 15 points before the second half was even halfway over.
From there, Post and Zackery went to the bench to rest as Duke ran down a lot of clock while maintaining their lead. The Eagles chipped away at the big Duke lead once Post and Zackery came back, but BC couldn’t make the defensive stops necessary to catch back up. Duke continued to put points on the board as the final minutes closed out and the Blue Devils emerged with an 80-65 win.
Quinten Post had another one of his dud games. He didn’t hit a shot from the field in the first half and his effort in the second half wasn’t nearly enough to make up for it, finishing with 8 total points. Zackery and Harris were able to get things going when Post was not doing well, but you need a better performance from your star player to give the team a chance at a win.
Jaeden Zackery absolutely took over in the first half, showing off his killer midrange shot and his ability to facilitate in transition. He pretty much disappeared in the second half, though, and nobody else picked up the slack. Earl Grant has to figure out a way to scheme some of his guys open more consistently without relying on JZ or someone else to just take over, because a coach like Jon Scheyer can figure a way to shut them out pretty easily right now.
BC starts a two game homestand on Tuesday when they host the Louisville Cardinals at 9pm ET.