No. 5 Duke heads north to battle Boston College

Published February 19, 2012

| Sports Network

The fifth-ranked Duke Blue Devils will try to stay in the race for the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season title as they head to the Conte Forum to battle the Boston College Eagles.

This will be the 16th meeting in history between the Blue Devils and Boston College. Duke leads the all-time series 13-2 after it won its last four encounters with the Eagles.

Coach Krzyzewski's Blue Devils come in with a 22-4 overall record after their comeback victory versus NC State on Thursday night. Duke trailed by 20 points with 11 and a half minutes remaining before it rallied to pick up a 78-73 win over the Wolfpack. The Blue Devils made 6-of-15 from three point range in the second half to power back and win their third game in a row. Duke has been very impressive during conference play, as it has outscored its league rivals by 7.3 ppg.

Austin Rivers is having a spectacular freshman season as a vital component to Duke's balanced attack. The rookie guard averages a team-high 15.0 ppg on 44.4 percent shooting. Seth Curry is second on the team with 13.4 ppg. Curry came up big on Thursday night, as he scored 26 points to lead the comeback rally. Mason Plumlee is nearly averaging a double-double with 11.5 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. Ryan Kelly and Andre Dawkins get into the mix regularly as well, which makes the Blue Devils tremendously deep talent-wise.

Boston College's season has been a struggle so far, as it comes in with an 8-18 overall record after its 81-65 loss to Maryland on Thursday night. The Eagles had trouble finding their shooting touch in the contest, as they managed to hit only 32.8 percent of their field goals and just 4-of-15 from three-point range. Head coach Steve Donahue's team is now 3-9 in league play, which is just a half game in front of last place Georgia Tech.

Donahue should not be as worried about wins and losses as he should be growth and development of his young core at this point in the season. The Eagles' rotation is built up mostly of freshmen. Rookie forward Ryan Anderson is leading the team with 10.4 points and 6.9 boards per game. Freshman center Dennis Clifford is netting 9.1 ppg after he is scored in double-figures in his last two games. Matt Humphrey, Patrick Heckmann, and Lonnie Jackson are all solid contributors for Boston College, but none have stood out as future stars the program can build around, yet.

URL

http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2012/02/19/no-5-duke-heads-north-to-battle-boston-college/