Boston College Vs. No. 3 Duke: Eagles Blown Away By Blue Devils, 84-68

Reggie Jackson was held to seven points as Boston College was overpowered by third-ranked Duke, 84-68, at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Thursday night. Corey Raji led the Eagles with 18 points and Joe Trapani had 14 points and 11 rebounds. Read more at BC Interruption and Duke Basketball Report.

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Brad Bates: 'No comment' on Spaziani, football

Boston College's new athletic director Brad Bates would not issue a comment about Frank Spaziani or the football program on Sunday.

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Boston College Vs. Duke: Reggie Jackson Benched In Eagles' Loss

Boston College junior guard Reggie Jackson was benched by head coach Steve Donahue at the start of the first and second halves in the Eagles' 84-68 loss against Duke on Thursday night, according to a report from WEEI.

The decision came after Jackson didn't give full effort during practice, something that Donahue just won't tolerate.

Apparently, Donahue felt star guard Reggie Jackson was not bringing his best to the practice gym. Thus, in the team's biggest game of the season, Jackson did not start either half as the Eagles fell to third-ranked Duke, 84-68, Thursday night in Durham, N.C.

"Practice matters," was Donahue's response to the media after the game when asked about Jackson's demotion. (via Jerry Spar, WEEI)

There was speculation before the game that Jackson was sick, but that has not yet been confirmed or denied. Jackson finished with seven points and six assists in 32 minutes. Dallas Elmore started the game in place of Jackson and finished with a season-high 10 points in 32 minutes.

The move to bench Jackson was reminiscent of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's decision to bench Wes Welker for the first series of New England's AFC Divisional Round match-up against the rival New York Jets.

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Duke 84, Boston College 68: Eagles Blown Away By Blue Devils

It's not all that uncommon for a college basketball team to have an off night, but it's rather unfortunate when it comes against a team like the Duke Blue Devils.

That was the case for Boston College, which made 28-of-61 shots en route to an 84-68 loss against No. 3 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Thursday night.

BC (14-7, 4-3 ACC) made 7-of-20 three pointers (35%) and 5-of-9 free throws (55.6%). The numbers weren't terrible, but Steve Donahue's team never was able to find its stride. When that's the case, and you're playing Duke, you're just out of luck.

Reggie Jackson, the ACC's second leading scorer, was held to seven points and six assists. Reports indicated that Jackson was sick and did not start as a result. His minutes were reduced as well, which ultimately hurt the Eagles.

Corey Raji had a team-high 18 points and Joe Trapani totaled 14 points and 11 rebounds for Boston College. Biko Paris amassed 11 points and seven rebounds and Dallas Elmore added 10 points. Josh Southern chipped in with six points and seven rebounds in the loss.

The Eagles collected 31 rebounds and had 16 assists, three steals and 13 turnovers in their second straight loss.

Nolan Smith scored a game-high 28 points to pace Duke (19-1, 6-1 ACC). Seth Curry scored a career-high 20 points and had three assists and three steals and Kyle Singler added 14 points and six rebounds. Mason Plumlee finished with eight points and 12 rebounds.

Ryan Kelly, who entered the game having made 13 field goals in a row, made his first five shots to extend the streak to 18 straight field goals. Kelly finished 6-for-9 with 14 points, four blocks and four rebounds.

Duke made 30-of-60 shots (50%), 10-of-22 three pointers (45.5%) and 14-of-19 free throws (73.7%). The Blue Devils amassed 31 rebounds, 16 assists, 10 steals, six blocks and seven turnovers.

Boston College kept the game within reach all throughout the first 16 minutes, trailing the Blue Devils 28-27 with 3:35 left in the opening half, but Duke pulled away in the final four minutes to take a 41-32 lead heading into halftime.

The Blue Devils took a firm grasp on the game early in the second half, taking a 69-47 lead after ten minutes. Duke continued to keep BC at arms length for the final ten minutes, preventing the Eagles from making a comeback.

Boston College returns to action on Tuesday evening when it hosts North Carolina at Conte Forum. Duke travels to face St. John's on Sunday afternoon.

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Boston College Vs. Duke: Eagles Trail Blue Devils, 41-32, At Halftime

Ryan Kelly scored a team-high 11 points and Nolan Smith added 10 points as No. 3 Duke leads Boston College, 41-32, entering halftime at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Kyle Singler and Seth Curry each scored nine points and Mason Plumlee had two points and seven rebounds for Duke. The Blue Devils made 16-of-31 field goals (51.6%) and 4-of-9 (44.4%) three pointers in the first half.

Corey Raji finished the first half with a game-high 12 points for Boston College. Biko Paris scored six points, Joe Trapani and Dallas Elmore each had five points and Josh Southern had two points and five rebounds for BC.

Reggie Jackson, the second leading scorer in the ACC, did not start due to illness but did play in the first half, finishing with two points and three assists for the Eagles.

Boston College has made 13-of-30 shots (43.3%) and 4-of-12 shots beyond the arc (33.3%) in the first half.

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Boston College Vs. Duke: Steve Donahue, Eagles Ready For Blue Devils

Steve Donahue has seen tough opponents in his first season at Boston College, but none like the team he will face on Thursday night.

For the first time as the Eagles' head coach, Donahue will bring his team into legendary Cameron Indoor Stadium to face Mike Krzyzewski and the third-ranked Duke Blue Devils.

The task at hand for the Eagles is large, no doubt. But according to Donahue, his team is ready for the challenge that lies ahead.

"I think we can compete with anybody in the country," Donahue said. "Like everybody else, we've had some adversity throughout this year, but what I think has been consistent is our effort each and every day. I'm very proud of these guys, how hard they've worked."

Their hard work has certainly paid off, as the Eagles posses a 14-6 record (4-2 ACC). Boston College won its first three conference games before losing to Miami. Following the loss against the Hurricanes, BC edged Virginia before losing to Florida State in its last game on Saturday.

Despite the strong start, the Eagles are faced with a task that only one of nineteen teams has been able to do this season: beat Duke. Needless to say, Donahue knows that will be a very tough task.

"I don't necessarily [think] there's a simple answer for [beating Duke]," said Donahue. "Like anybody else, you've got to do what you do well. We're going to have to play extremely well against their pressure defense. They've obviously got their great players on the offensive end, you've got to play great team defense. I don't think there's a secret formula or anything. You've got to obviously play very well and defend them very well."

Duke (18-1, 5-1 ACC) is off to yet another strong start after winning the NCAA National Championship a season ago. The Blue Devils' only loss came against ACC foe Florida State on January 12th. 

Following the minor setback, the Blue Devils have regained their composure and have posted victories in their last three games against Virginia, N.C. State and Wake Forest. 

Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith have been Duke's catalysts this season, with Smith averaging 20.1 points and 5.6 assists and Singler averaging 18.1 points and 6.3 rebounds.

"Once again, I think it's a team thing," said Donahue when asked about defending Singler and Smith. "These kids are both seniors, been through so much, national championships. What you've got to do is play as a team, make sure you're doing everything you can as a team to make them take hard shots and do everything difficult so if they're going to get their points, they're going to do it in a lot of hard shots throughout the offense."

Singler and Smith aren't the Blue Devils' only weapons, though, as Andre Dawkins (10.9 PPG) and Seth Curry (7.6 PPG) have stepped up as well. Mason Plumlee, who averages 6.6 points and a team-best 8.6 rebonds, is also a force to be reckoned with in the paint.

Ryan Kelly, a McDonald's All-American, is averaging 6.7 points and has been on a tare recently. Kelly has made all ten of his last shots, making 6-of-6 field goals in the Blue Devils' win against Wake Forest and 4-of-4 shots against N.C. State. In that time frame, Kelly has also made an impressive 8-of-8 shots beyond the arc.

"Ryan Kelly is a great talent," Donahue said. "You've got to obviously be aware of [him]. I think what's made him and Duke better is that now he's stretching the defense. So you have four guys out there that can shoot the ball from three. I think that makes them much more difficult to guard. Once again, you've got to be aware that they have that kind of threat, and Ryan Kelly is certainly a kid that can do it from outside and an all around solid basketball player."

While Duke is loaded with talent, the Blue Devils will be without star freshman point guard Kyrie Irving, who may miss the rest of the season after suffering a right toe injury during the second half in Duke's game against Butler.

Irving averaged 17.4 points, 5.1 assists, 3.8 rebound and made 53.2% of his shots in eight games for Duke. While Irving is dominant on the offensive end, Donahue believes that he wouldn't have effected the game on the defensive end.

"I don't think Irving, at this point in his career, had anything to do with the defensive side of the ball," Donahue said. "I think that he made them so much faster and explosive and gave them another threat out there. I think their defense has not been effected. If anything, they've got veterans out there now who probably are better defenders at this point in their careers. Kyrie Irving was a fantastic offensive player and made them so much more explosive, so I don't know if that would have affected the defensive side of the ball."

Irving would have been guarding Eagles junior guard Reggie Jackson, who has been BC's standout through 20 games. Jackson is averaging a team-high 19.1 points, 4.9 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.2 steals.

Jackson will be key to the Eagles' success on Thursday night, as he will be in charge of running Donahue's offense.

"Reggie, like all of our guys, will have to play very well against that pressure," Donahue said. "A lot of it falls on Reggie because of being the ball-handler. I anticipate that Reggie will do a great job making great decisions."

Another big factor in Boston College's success on Thursday night is the ability to establish their shooting early. The Eagles are shooting 47.5% from the field as a team and 38.8% as a unit from long distance.

"Part of our philosophy is not that we're making threes, but if they're guarding us at the three point line, then our spacing is going to be better," said Donahue. "If indeed they want to stop us from shooting the threes, then we've got to do a terrific job of countering that and making really good basketball decisions."

Donahue's team has made good decision all throughout the season, but then, the Eagles haven't faced a powerhouse like Duke. There is also the matter of Donahue having to match wits with legendary Blue Devils head coach, Mike Krzyzewski. Despite the aura that surround Coach K, Donahue isn't phased.

"I never even think of the other coach," Donahue said. "It's all about the players in this college game. I've coached against Coach K before, never thought it was a bout him. Obviously, he's accomplished a great amount being at Duke. But Duke's a great basketball program. The players, the culture, the way they play, how hard they play. I think that's more of a daunting task than me going against Mike Krzyzewski."

Duke holds a commanding 12-2 lead in the all-time series against Boston College. Krzyzewski's Blue Devils have won the last three meetings against the Eagles and 11 of the last 12 games between the two schools. BC dropped last year's meeting with Duke, 66-63, at Conte Forum on February 6, 2010.

The last time that Boston College defeated Duke was on February 15, 2009 when the Eagles topped the Blue Devils 80-74. Prior to that, the Eagles' last win over Duke came on March 17, 1985, when BC prevailed, 74-73.

Boston College is 1-8 against Duke since joining the ACC in 2005. The Eagles have never beaten Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

That doesn't deter Donahue, though, and he believes that Duke's adversity can serve as a positive for his team.

"Come Thursday, that's your time to go out and perform," said Donahue. "That's my job to make sure they're absolutely motivated and ready to go. Their job is to prepare themselves for that moment. When it comes, embrace the adversity  that Duke brings because it can bring great things for you if you can get through some of that. It's such a great hurdle to try to beat them at Duke."

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