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Duke Hammers Boston College In The 2021 ACC Tournament

A nice bounce back after the awful game in Chapel Hill Saturday

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament-Duke Boston College
Mar 9, 2021; Greensboro, North Carolina, USA; Boston College Eagles guard Makai Ashton-Langford (4) drives into Duke Blue Devils guard Jordan Goldwire (14) during the first half in the first round of the 2021 ACC men’s basketball tournament at Greensboro Coliseum. 
Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

Survive and advance

That’s the March Mantra.

Duke survived and advanced in a big way Tuesday night, pummeling Boston College 86-51 to open their 2021 ACC Tournament adventure.

Duke will play Louisville tomorrow night at 6:30.

The game went about as well as it could have gone for the Blue Devils. Duke showed no signs of post-Carolina-blowout doldrums, jumping to a 10-2 lead and never remotely letting the Eagles back into the game.

Mike Krzyzewski said Duke tried to put the Carolina loss behind them as quickly as possible.

“Really when we got back from Carolina in the locker room, we came back and had a short meeting and said, look, we just got beat badly, and that’s it. That’s the end of that season. We’re not going to show tape. We’re not going to do anything; let’s start anew. We tried to carry that over and the next day in our meetings, all we did was have a short lift and had some meetings, and everyone was real positive.”

Duke also came over to Greensboro yesterday for practice, largely shooting. Krzyzewski noted that he knew there wouldn’t be much of a warm-up between the Miami-Pitt opener and Duke’s game and Duke had lots of freshmen who had never played in Greensboro.

It paid off in a big way. D.J. Steward hit a 3-pointer 1:12 into the game and another 2:37 into the contest.

“In the games that we’ve played well, we haven’t turned the ball over and we played good,” Mike Krzyzewski said, “and got good shots, and we haven’t started out in a hole. Today playing like that to begin with, and then — we played a really good game.”

Steward agreed.

“You know, I feel like whenever you get good starts, it leads to a great win. We were all locked in. It was win or go home.”

Steward wasn’t the only Blue Devil hot from downtown. In fact Duke hit 8 of 17 from beyond the arc in just the opening half. Duke got its first double-digit lead at 23-12 on another Steward 3-pointer and extended the halftime lead to 41-27, this time Steward assisting Jordan Goldwire for another 3-pointer.

BC made a mini-run early in the second half to cut their deficit to 11, at 43-32. But Duke responded to this modest game pressure with a 17-6 run to go up 60-38 and end even that little bit of suspense.

The magnitude of the victory allowed Krzyzewski to empty his bench, rest his key players and hopefully send his team out tomorrow with something resembling fresh legs. Duke used 13 players and 11 of them scored, including walk-ons Keenan Worthington (3 points, 2 rebounds) and Michael Savarino (1 point, 1 rebound, 1 assist). Joey Baker hit a couple of 3s, Goldwire hit 4 3s in 21 minutes, while Henry Coleman (4 points, 5 rebounds) and Patrick Tapé (4 points, 1 rebound) gave Duke some size and energy off the bench.

Duke ended with 15 of 32 on 3-pointers, assisted on 22 of 32 made field goals and forced 20 turnovers, with 11 steals.

Mark Williams praised Duke’s ball movement.

“You know, it helps us — I think it helps us flow. You don’t turn the ball over, you’re in good sets, good continuation, good flow, and, you know, that leads to good shots.”

Duke’s key players barely played down the stretch. No one played more than Matt Hurt’s 27 minutes. That may not translate to fresh legs against Louisville but perhaps not tired legs.

Duke has two losses to Louisville but both games came down to the final seconds.

Williams says Duke learned some valuable lessons in those losses.

“I think the biggest thing for us is just knowing our match-ups, being aggressive and being confident. Knowing we’ve lost to them twice, we have to remember that feeling in the locker room after that game and can’t repeat that feeling. Just going from there, and then, again, preparing and recovering, all those sort of things.”

Krzyzewski said Duke turned the page and did what it needed to do.

“Well, I hope we can carry it over. You never know about momentum. Obviously we played really well today. They had fun playing. After losing three games in a row — two tough ones and then Carolina really kicked us — you can be down. I didn’t think our team was down. They really practiced well yesterday and very upbeat, and they came in and did that again. They’ve been good kids.”

NOTES.

The win again puts Duke back on the right side of. 500, at 12-11.

So many people played so many minutes that Duke only had three double-figure scorers, Steward with 17, Williams with 13 and Goldwire with 12. Moore, Hurt, Roach and Baker each had eight points.

Boston College was led by Makhai Ashton-Langford, with nine points. The Eagles hit 1 of 15 from beyond the arc.

Poll

Player Of The Game vs. Boston College In The ACC Tournament

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Wendell Moore
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Matthew Hurt
    (1 vote)
  • 7%
    Mark Williams
    (24 votes)
  • 65%
    DJ Steward
    (204 votes)
  • 0%
    Jeremy Roach
    (1 vote)
  • 1%
    Keenan Worthington
    (4 votes)
  • 1%
    Henry Coleman
    (6 votes)
  • 0%
    Jaemyn Brakefield
    (1 vote)
  • 1%
    Joey Baker
    (6 votes)
  • 0%
    Patrick Tapé
    (1 vote)
  • 4%
    Michael Savarino
    (15 votes)
  • 0%
    Mike Buckmire
    (3 votes)
  • 13%
    Jordan Goldwire
    (43 votes)
312 votes total Vote Now