Sunday, February 15, 2009
Boston College 80, #5 Duke 76. A classic contest that may have punched BC's entry ticket into the Big Dance. Or at the very least, put their destiny in their own hands.
This game was won in the 1st half. Duke dominated most of the first 20 minutes, leading by 11 with 5 minutes left in the 1st, and down by 13 with 2 and a half minutes left. Tyler Roche then Tyrese Rice each hit 3s, then Rice hit another field goal to make it a 5 point game going into halftime.
Duke had a chance to put BC away before the half, but they eased up a bit, and the Eagles clamped down on defense. BC gained some momentum, but more importantly, gave themselves a chance to keep it a close game.
The 2nd half saw some good defese, lots of turnovers, and some clutch shooting by BC. They didn't let Duke pull away, and eventually ground out a tie with 13:03 left, then a lead with 9:25 on the clock. Back and forth the two went, but BC made more clutch shots down the stretch, and played outstanding defense.
Reggie Jackson was huge, finishing with 15. Rice had 21, and all of them seemed to come in big moments. With 1:32 on the clock, down by 1, he hit a 3 pointer. That gave BC the lead they held until the final buzzer.
I was working on the floor at this game, and then had to help escort the Duke players off the court as the BC students charged. I had goosebumps, and it was hard to contain a smile.
BC has 4 games left, 2 of which are against good teams. They play in Miami Saturday afternoon, in a contest between two ACC bubble teams. FSU comes to Boston a week from Thursday. Tickets are on sale.
By the way, this was the first time BC has beaten Duke in 24 years.
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer