CHESTNUT HILL, Mass.—The intensity and pressure that comes night in and night out in ACC play is tough to replicate, but Brandon Ingram and Luke Kennard clearly missed the memo.

No. 15 Duke defeated Boston College 81-64 at the Conte Forum Saturday, paced by a pair of freshmen playing the first road games of their college careers. Ingram led the Blue Devils with 25 points—including four 3-pointers—and Kennard followed close behind with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting.

“For our guys, it was the first road game in the conference and the first game we played on an opponent’s court, but more importantly it was a conference game,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “Conference games are different… It’s tough for freshmen. There’s no way they can completely understand just how intense and how tough the conference is, but Luke and Brandon really gave us a big push.”

Duke (12-2, 1-0 in the ACC) struggled out of the gates, opening 2-of-9 from the floor. The Blue Devils had issues containing the Eagles' Eli Carter—who led all scorers in the opening 20 minutes with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting—and found little success on the other end of the floor early on, shooting just 34.4 percent in the half.

After shaking off the early New Year's woes, Duke overcame an early Boston College lead, rattling off a quick 7-0 run. Sophomore Grayson Allen led the charge for Duke with 10 points and three rebounds in the opening period—including a dunk and lay-up in transition during the 7-0 spurt—and Ingram followed close behind with nine points, three rebounds and a highlight-reel slam over two Boston College defenders to ignite the Blue Devil offense.

“I was just trying to be aggressive and know when to drive and kick the ball,” Ingram said. “We didn’t knock shots down at first but then we got aggressive to the rim and followed that up with defensive pressure. We want to play every game well by coming in, playing together and not taking anyone lightly. It’s staying aggressive, talking more and it all comes when you see a ball and you try to get out there and win every 50-50 ball.”

Duke wasted no time getting its offense going in the second half. Ingram knocked down a fade-away jumper early on to extend the double-digit lead, and added a pair of 3-pointers in the next five minutes. Kennard provided nearly all of the Blue Devils' bench scoring, making his first three shots of the half.

Both Ingram and Allen—who scored 17 points—finished one rebound shy of double-doubles.

Trailing by 21 midway through the second half, Boston College (7-7, 0-1) climbed back into the game with a 10-0 run. But when foul trouble sent Carter to the bench, the Blue Devils once again regained control. Allen sparked the offense with four points in a two-minute span, including a seemingly impossible drive and finish for an old-fashioned 3-point play. 

Duke wound up with a double-digit victory, but the Eagles exposed some concerns that the Blue Devils will have to address as they head deeper into ACC action. Krzyzewski's squad committed 15 turnovers Saturday and had just two second-chance points on eight offensive rebounds. 

“Of course we’re never satisfied,” Ingram said. “We know we have to get better. We knew it was a hostile environment coming in here and since it was our first ACC game we knew we just had to play our hardest.”

The Blue Devils remain on the road to continue their start to league action, playing at Wake Forest Wednesday.