5 observations from No. 9 Duke men's basketball's first half against Boston College

Jared McCain shoots a 3-pointer over the outstretched arm of a Boston College defender.
Jared McCain shoots a 3-pointer over the outstretched arm of a Boston College defender.

On the back of a midweek win against Notre Dame, No. 9 Duke continues its three-game homestand Saturday afternoon at Cameron Indoor Stadium against Boston College. After a tight first half, the Blue Devils lead the Eagles 36-32:

Live or die by the three

Duke opened up its offensive set with a series of quick passes before senior captain Jeremy Roach drained a dagger for three. The Blue Devils next two attempts would come from beyond the arc as well, where Roach and freshman guard Jared McCain each missed a shot. Boston College also tried to get going early from downtown, as Mason Madsen made his first shot. Then, the Eagles went cold, though it didn’t stop them from trying. Collectively, the two teams had put up 12 trey attempts by the first media stoppage — the three that went in were Roach’s opener, Madsen’s response and a fast-break pull-up jumper from sophomore center Kyle Filipowski. 

Madsen’s day

The senior guard was slotted into Boston College’s starting five for just the second time this season, and he stepped up early. He scored his team’s first seven points, including an easy transition dunk after undercutting a pass intended for Jaylen Blakes. The steal immediately followed an airballed 3-point shot, and Madsen sprinted back down the court with the Cameron Crazies at full volume. He didn’t score in last year’s game in Cameron Indoor Stadium, but he made his presence felt Saturday afternoon. 

Everyone’s involved

Well, not quite everyone, but the Blue Devils split the offensive workload in the first half, with seven players getting on the board. Filipowski, while without the most efficient stat line, found his stroke from three and was able to put up seven points, mostly in the paint. Freshman forward Sean Stewart had two rebounds, an assist and a steal in his limited minutes, as well as a couple crucial buckets to re-establish Duke’s lead. Roach spent some time on the bench with two early fouls, but his seven points helped build the Blue Devils’ early advantage.

Mitchell’s house

It might not have been flashy, but sophomore forward Mark Mitchell got the job done. His three offensive rebounds helped his team to four second-chance points, and he led the team with seven total boards. He drew the tall task of marking 7-foot center Quinten Post, who entered the game averaging 16.4 points per game. Mitchell and his teammates held him scoreless from the field on two shots. 

Player of the half: Jared McCain

The freshman guard can seemingly do anything. Even when his three ball wasn’t falling, McCain found success off the drive, putting up six points entirely inside the key. He also continued his success on the defensive glass, racking up five boards as a part of his seven total. His effort is undeniable, from leaping saves as the ball is about to cross the baseline to offensive rebound efforts, allowing his team to maintain possession in a close game down the stretch. 

Rachael Kaplan profile
Rachael Kaplan | Sports Managing Editor

Rachael Kaplan is a Trinity junior and sports managing editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.


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