CHESTNUT HILL, Mass.—In their conference opener, the Blue Devils needed some time to get acclimated to ACC play. But a couple of quick runs have Duke back in front at intermission.
No. 15 Duke leads Boston College 37-24 after one half of play at Conte Forum in the first ACC game for both squads. It was a slow 20 minutes for the Blue Devils and they looked out of sync offensively for much of the period before gaining traction in the final few minutes. After the slow start, Duke shot an even 50 percent from the field, with sophomore Grayson Allen scoring 10 points to lead the way.
The Eagles grabbed the lead at the opening tip and looked like the more aggressive team in the early going. Both sides struggled out of the gate shooting the ball, with each team hitting just two of its first nine attempts from the floor.
After trailing for much of the early going, a quick 7-0 run just after the 12-minute mark put Duke ahead and breathed a semblance of life into the team for the first time.
Junior Matt Jones sparked the run by draining a 3-pointer from the wing—the Blue Devils’ first made trey after missing their first five attempts, many of which were uncontested. Grayson Allen nabbed a steal on the very next possession and converted it into a fastbreak dunk to give Duke its first lead.
To cap off the spurt, Jones went diving on the floor near halfcourt for a loose ball, securing the possession and feeding Allen for another easy bucket in transition that put the Blue Devils ahead 15-12.
Boston College pulled within one with 7:37 left, but Duke responded with an 8-0 run exclusively from the free throw line to put some distance between themselves and the Eagles, with Allen making all four of his attempts to lead the way.
Here are some observations from the first half:
- Duke stuck with the starting lineup of Derryck Thornton, Allen, Jones, Brandon Ingram and Marshall Plumlee for the fourth straight game.
- Saturday marked the Blue Devils’ first true road game of the season. They played one neutral-site game in Chicago and three in New York during the nonconference portion of their schedule.
- Duke trailed for the first eight minutes of the game and grabbed its first lead when Allen turned a steal into an open dunk on the offensive end.
- Despite Boston College featuring three starters standing 6-foot-7 or taller, Blue Devil freshman Chase Jeter played only two minutes. The 6-foot-11 center recorded two points and one rebound in the first 20 minutes.
- Florida transfer Eli Carter has shouldered much of the offensive load for the Eagles, leading all scorers with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting. The graduate student entered the game as Boston College’s leading scorer with 17.2 points per game.
- Jones, Luke Kennard and Allen all appeared to get nicked up at different points in the half, but all three returned to the game and showed no obvious ill effects.
- Coming off a career-high 33-point performance against Long Beach State, Allen has 10 so far today on 3-of-4 shooting.
- Allen and Ingram both delivered emphatic slam dunks in the opening 20 minutes.
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