BOSTON (AP)—Boston College shocked another one of the top Atlantic Coast Conference teams.
Reggie Jackson broke the game’s final tie with a drive with 47.2 seconds left and the Eagles scored the final six points in an 80-74 victory over No. 6 Duke on Sunday, their first win over the Blue Devils in 24 years.
Tyrese Rice had 21 points, including a key 3-pointer, and Joe Trapani added 20 for the Eagles (19-8, 7-5). Jackson finished with 15 points.
“We always felt that we had the talent,” Boston College coach Al Skinner said. “It’s getting them to understand what it takes.”
It was BC’s second win over a highly ranked team this season. The Eagles handed then-No. 1 North Carolina its first loss, 85-78, in Chapel Hill on Jan. 4.
After that game they lost to Harvard.
“I would say, `In a perfect world we’re beating Duke and Carolina in my first year in the league,”’ said a smiling Trapani, who sat out last season after transferring from Vermont.
With Rice seemingly handling the ball nearly every key play down the stretch, BC pulled out one of its biggest home wins in years.
“They’re good and they have one of the best players in the country,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said, referring to Rice.
Rice, who became the seventh Boston College player to reach 2,000 points, grabbed a key rebound on a Duke miss before hitting two free throws that made it 78-74.
“This is a big stage,” Skinner said. “He showed the type of player he is. I’m not sure I’d certainly take some of those shots, but you’ve just got to let him.”
Kyle Singler had 25 points for the Blue Devils (20-5, 7-4), who have lost three of four, while Gerald Henderson added 20.
With the final horn sounded, BC’s students rushed the court from both ends to celebrate the Eagles snapping an eight-game losing streak to Duke. BC’s last win over the Blue Devils came on March 17, 1985.
After Singler’s basket tied the game at 74-all, Jackson’s drive in the lane put BC ahead for good.
Henderson missed a 3 on the ensuing possession and Rice grabbed the rebound before being fouled. He hit both free throws and Trapani made two more with 12.8 seconds left.
The Blue Devils had a 13-point lead in the first half.
“You can’t mess around. If you have a team down you have to step on their throats,” Henderson said. “That’s been a problem with us this year—we haven’t approached leads like that, so we need to change that.”
BC faced a nationally ranked team for the third straight game. The Eagles lost to No. 7 Wake Forest and No. 12 Clemson in their last two games.
The Blue Devils entered with an ACC-best scoring defense, allowing 62.7 points per game, but the Eagles were shooting over 60 percent from the field late in the game and finished at 58.8 percent.
“We’re not playing very well on the defensive end of the court,” Krzyzewski said. “In the last two ballgames, teams have shot 60 percent against us and scored 101 and 80 points—and this is from a team that has been playing for the whole year really well defensively.”
North Carolina beat Duke 101-87 at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Wednesday night.
Duke had won its previous 10 games against unranked opponents.
Rice’s long 3-pointer gave BC a 74-72 lead with 1:31 to go. On the ensuing possession, Singler missed two free throws but grabbed his own rebound out of a scramble and tied it with 70 seconds left.
Jackson’s step-back 3-pointer gave the Eagles their first lead since the game’s opening basket, 56-55 with 9:23 to play. Rakim Sanders followed that with a breakaway layup off a turnover and Jackson grabbed a defensive rebound, driving the distance for a basket that made it 60-55.
Rice’s first shot of the second half—a 3-pointer from the right wing 18 seconds into the half—gave him 2,000 points.
Former BC player and 2006-07 ACC player of the year Jared Dudley, now a member of the Phoenix Suns, was seated courtside across from the Duke bench. Dudley was the last BC player to reach 2,000 points.
In usually—in college basketball arena terms—quiet Conte Forum, nearly all the fans were in their seats a few minutes before tipoff, offering a totally different atmosphere that was highlighted with chants of “Let’s Go Eagles” echoing from the student sections behind the baskets and throughout the building.
The Blue Devils led 37-32 after the Eagles closed the first half on an 8-0 run.
The Eagles, who had trouble breaking Clemson’s fullcourt pressure on Tuesday, saw Duke press from the start.
Rice, the Eagles’ point guard and leading scorer, appeared to spend a great deal of energy against the press. He didn’t score his first field goal until there was 5:19 left in the first half.