ATLANTA — Gerald Henderson didn't want to watch the last shot, a heave from Boston College's Rakim Sanders that would have propelled the Eagles to a quarterfinal upset had it fallen through the net.
But when Henderson finally turned around, he saw the deep 3-pointer clang off the side of the rim and fall to the ground, sealing the third-seeded Blue Devils' 66-65 win Friday in the Georgia Dome. After storming back from a seven-point halftime deficit, Duke advances to play No. 7 Maryland Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
"Around this time, crazy stuff happens," Henderson said.
The way Duke played in the first half, the Blue Devils' second-half comeback was crazy in its own respect. And the way this ACC Tournament has gone, a final comeback from Boston College (22-11) wouldn't have been too crazy, either.
Henderson preferred not to watch Sanders' last offering, but he had no qualms launching the biggest shot of the night for Duke (26-6). The forward-who finished with 16 points, trailing Kyle Singler's 26 for the team lead-backed down Sanders with 35 seconds left, elevated over him and rattled home the short hook to give Duke a 66-65 advantage that wouldn't change.
Despite Henderson's struggles in the first half, when he scored just three points after being saddled by two early fouls, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski called Henderson's number after a 30-second timeout.
"My shots weren't falling, but Coach went to me. I was just strong and made the layup," Henderson said.
"We tried to get him and [Jon Scheyer] in an action where Jon was screening for him to get into the low post," Krzyzewski said. "[Henderson] was open the first time we did it, and we were going back to it either if he was open to hit him or for Jon to take a three…. It was not an easy shot, but at least he was one-on-one in the post. It was a big-time play by Gerald."
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