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Previewing Boston College
 
BC Outslugs Duke, 61-57
Team Box
BC Outslugs Duke, 61-57
By Rob Clough
February 4, 2010

  NUTSHELL     BOX     STATS  

THE NUTSHELL: Devils Lose Rebounding Battle and the Game


"This is certainly a potential trap game for Duke if they're not careful." So said the last line of my preview. Duke lost the one battle they couldn't afford to lose against BC--rebounding--and as a result, squandered a chance to go 7-0 in the ACC and take complete control of the league. Duke is still up a game on Florida State (with the tiebreaker) and 2 games on UNC (thanks to their loss in Miami), but with so many tough games left on the schedule, the Devils could have used a bit of cushion.

The Devils did not get off on the right foot in this game, missing their first five shots and turning the ball over four times as the Eagles broke out to a 7-0 lead. That forced Duke to go into catch-up mode early, and the Eagles struck back with some threes to go up 15-7. Keturah Jackson hit a three and Jasmine Thomas a layup off a steal to make it 17-14. Allison Vernerey came off the bench to score a couple of key baskets that finally put Duke on top at 18-16, but the Devils expended a lot of energy to do so.

BC took the lead on a three by Kerri Shields, but Kathleen Scheer came off the bench to put Duke up 21-20. The Devils had multiple chances to extend that lead, but missed two shots and turned the ball over twice. Duke had managed to shackle BC's big three of Carolyn Swords, Stefanie Murphy and Mickel Picco, but the Devils were hurt by role players like Jaclyn Thoman (9 points, 9 rebounds) and Brittany Johnson. The two times were tied at 30 at the half.

After a quiet first half, Jasmine Thomas went off early in the second half, eventually staking Duke to a 39-36 lead when she drained a three. Duke went two minutes without scoring when BC did the same, squandering a chance to take control of the game. KJ scored to put Duke up 43-42 with 8:34 left, but the Eagles scored 5 straight points to take a four-point lead. Jasmine scored on a layup to pull Duke within 2, but the Devils blew a chance to tie that BC exploited as they scored on a stickback.

The Eagles kept Duke at arm's length until the Devils got to the foul line, with Vernerey's foul shots pulling Duke to within 53-52 with 2:30 left. Duke couldn't stop fouling and BC made the most of it, while both Cheek and J.Thomas missed crucial foul shots down the stretch. Despite that, Duke got a stop and Jasmine tied the game at 55 on a layup with 58 seconds left. KJ fouled Johnson 7 seconds later and Jasmine missed a layup, which was pretty much the ballgame.

Jasmine was Duke's only player in double figures with 19 points, but she was just 6-17 from the floor. Duke's frontcourt was completely ineffective: K.Thomas was 0-3 with 2 rebounds, Mitchell was 2-5 with 2 rebounds and Cheek was 2-7 with 4 rebounds. BC's starting frontcourt had 20 rebounds. Indeed, even though the Eagles shot just 32% from the field and Duke nailed 38% of their shot, BC's +9 edge in rebounding and huge 19-10 advantage in second-chance points proved to be the deciding factor. Going 20-21 from the foul line also helped seal the deal for the Eagles. Beyond being outhustled on the boards, Duke's 20 turnovers killed them. BC only had 8 steals and isn't exactly known for their defensive pressure, so these miscues were mostly self-inflicted. It was doubly troublesome because Duke shot well enough to win. The Devils will need to regroup at home and immediately try to put more distance between themselves and UNC.



Previewing Boston College
 
BC Outslugs Duke, 61-57
Team Box

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