CHESTNUT HILL - Powered by a perfect start from the field, Boston College led No. 5/4 Duke by six points four minutes in, but the Eagles succumbed to a horrible scoring drought of nearly 10 minutes and was blown away by the Blue Devils, 75-50, on Sunday night.
"We played what I think is the best offensive team in the country, holding them to 18 points with three minutes left to go in the first half, I thought we did a great job" said Boston College head coach Steve Donahue.
The Eagles (8-19, 3-10 ACC) made their first five shots -- two of which were three pointers from Ryan Anderson -- and led 13-7 with 16:41 to play. BC, however, could not sustain the momentum and was held scoreless for 9:11 until Anderson made a free throw with 7:30 left. The Eagles would not make another field goal until Matt Humphrey's three with 2:25 to play in the half, marking a stretch of 14:16 without a field goal on 13 consecutive misses for Boston College.
"It was 18-14 for a long stretch," said Donahue. "Like I said to you at the beginning of the year, I'm trying to really judge these guys about what we teach them and how they go about executing what they ask. They did that flawlessly on defense in the first half up until the last three minutes."
Despite all of this, the Eagles were only down by nine points at the break, 30-21. The Blue Devils (23-4, 10-2 ACC) had their own problems in the half, coughing the ball up 11 times while making 12-of-27 field goals (44.4 percent). BC shot 31.8 percent (7-for-22) in the opening twenty minutes. Duke opened the second half on a 6-0 run and extended the run to 11-4 with 15:28 to go, boosting its lead to 45-21, and the Blue Devils didn't look back.
"We went small, and I thought it enabled us to get open shots," Donahue said, whose team was out-rebounded 45-21 and 13-2 on the offensive glass. "That being said, the Plumlees are a physical handful."
Austin Rivers -- son of Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers -- put on a show, making 7-of-13 baskets to finish with 16 points while grabbing seven rebounds. Seth Curry added 18 points and five boards despite turning the ball over six times. Miles Plumlee scored nine and Andre Dawkins added 13 points off the bench for the Blue Devils, who made 25-of-57 field goals to shoot 43.9 percent from the floor.
"It was huge for us," said Rivers about his team's ability to finish in the second half after falling behind by 20 points in the final half of their comeback win over N.C. State. "That was the focus all week. It was a great win for us to come back, it was huge for us to come back, but at the same time, you know, that's not who we should be. We really wanted to come out here today and really get us up by that big margin, and it was just huge. I think we need to take this momentum into Florida State."
Anderson led the Eagles with 21 points and eight rebounds. Matt Humphrey scored 12 points, Jordan Daniels had six points and Dennis Clifford struggled again, finishing with five points and four rebounds. BC was held to 34.1 percent shooting.
Boston College has a chance to rebound when it faces Wake Forest on February 25. Duke, meanwhile, faces Florida St. in its next tilt on February 23.