by Mike Potter
With impressive road wins over Georgia Tech — which oddly won’t visit the state of North Carolina this season — and Syracuse, the No. 3 Blue Devils are 15-1 and 2-0 in conference play heading into today’s matchup with Boston College (10-6, 1-1).
The Eagles, who play the toughest schedule in the country over a four-day period, are coming off a 95-53 loss at No. 2 Notre Dame on Thursday night.
On North Carolina’s worst weekend for major men’s sports in at least a generation, Duke contributes heavily to the ladies’ breaking the spell with a 78-57 win and picking up the program’s 800th victory.
The Eagles’ only lead is at 6-5, on a Kat Cooper jumper with 17:16 left in the first half.
Duke answers with a 13-0 run ending in a Chelsea Gray jumper at 8:47 and leads 43-27 at halftime.
Led by 12 points from senior Richa Jackson off the bench, the Blue Devils shoot 60 percent over the first 20 minutes to 45.8 for BC and lead the rebound battle 15-11.
Jackson finishes with a season-high 17 points to lead four Blue Devils in double figures. Haley Peters adds 15, Gray 11 and Alexis Jones 10, while Elizabeth Williams has 11 rebounds to go with her nine points.
Cooper scores 21 to lead the Eagles, followed by Katie Zenevitch with 10 points while Kristen Doherty chips in 11 rebounds to go with her eight points.
Duke shoots 46.7 percent to BC’s 33.9, wins the rebound battle 44-31 and commits 18 turnovers to the Eagles’ 21.
Duke has won 30 straight ACC games at home.
They said it …
Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie: “It was an interesting game. We’ve never had that kind of foul trouble in any game we’ve ever played, really. It was an interesting twist to the game, and I was really, really pleased with the bench overall. I don’t know if I consider Richa a ‘bench player.’ She’s a starter on the bench. And it was great to see her come into the game and make the difference that she made.”
BC coach Erik Johnson: “This was a pretty serious weekend for us, starting out Thursday at Notre Dame and then coming to Duke today. … You know in the ACC at some point you’re going to play a really good team, and a really good team and a really good team. You know, it happened to be two road games against the No. 2 team and the No. 3 team in the country. That’s life in the ACC. Now we see the difference between the level we’re at and where we want to be — a legitimate Final Four team.”
Jackson: “I just wanted to bring a lot of energy — you know, do whatever I had to do. Rebounding, defense, whatever it was. It’s very rare that a lot of our starters get into foul trouble, so you just have to be ready and take advantage of your opportunity.”
Williams: “I think it was important for us to get stops, and get consecutive stops, and part of that was rebounding. I just tried to really stay on the boards, and even if I didn’t get the rebounds just to box out.”
What does it all mean?
That Duke remains very solid, and that BC is able to play a decent road game after getting annihilated.
Stars of the game
3. Kay Cooper.
Play of the game
Jackson’s layup from Peters from Gray to make it 13-6.
Duke: Won 6.
BC: Lost 2.
Duke leads 12-2.
Duke vs. Virginia, Thursday, 6:30 p.m.
BC vs. Miami, Thursday, 7 p.m.