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Late comeback fuels Duke's win over Boston College

The SportsXchange

BOSTON -- A long day of travel and a lengthy shooting drought late in second half weren't quite enough to rattle No. 4 Duke down the stretch.

The Blue Devils were poised when they needed it most, holding Boston College scoreless for the final 2 minutes, 15 seconds and rallying from a five-point deficit for a 62-61 win on Sunday.

"I thought our defense was great the last 2 1/2 minutes," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "Our guys found a way."

Mason Plumlee scored 19 points, including the go-ahead free throw with 25 seconds left, and pulled down 10 rebounds as Duke won its fifth in a row and avoided an upset before Wednesday's rivalry game at home against North Carolina.

"It feels good when you get a stop and it comes down to one possession," said Seth Curry, who scored 18 for Duke.

The Blue Devils (21-2, 8-2 ACC) were forced to fly north Sunday morning because of the blizzard that hit Boston on Friday, shutting down travel in and out of New England. The travel didn't disrupt the Blue Devils nearly as much as the Eagles (10-13, 2-8) did on Sunday.

Boston College shot 50 percent in the second half and held the Blue Devils without a field goal for a stretch of 4 minutes, 34 seconds.

"The main impact was Boston College playing great," Krzyzewski said. "It was about them. They were terrific."

Olivier Hanlan had 20 points and Ryan Anderson scored 17 for the Eagles (10-13, 2-8), who have lost seven of eight.

Boston College went on a 10-1 run late in the second half and went up 61-56 on two foul shots by Hanlan with 2:15 to go, but the Eagles didn't score again.

"We didn't lose the game. Duke won the game," Boston College coach Steve Donahue said. "They made plays down the stretch. We didn't play bad down the stretch, it's just they made more plays than us down the stretch and got it done."

Plumlee ended up winning it from the foul line, where had faltered at times. He made two foul shots to tie it at 61-all with 47 seconds remaining, but he missed one with 25 seconds left after drawing a foul while battling for a loose ball.

BC fans jeered Plumlee when he missed the first shot and continued after he made the second to put the Blue Devils up 62-61 with plenty of time for the Eagles to get of a potential game-winner. Boston College called time out and set up a play, which just about worked.

Hanlan drove and was open for a pull-up jumper in the lane, but the ball glanced off the rim and fell to the floor, where a pile of players were still fighting for it as time expired.

"We had a lot of energy coming out of that time out and everybody knew that we were going to get that stop," Curry said.

Quinn Cook's 3-pointer with 6:30 left put Duke up 55-51 just after the Eagles had pulled within a point. Boston College responded with a 10-1 run, including a putback by Anderson that regained the lead for the Eagles at 57-55 with 4:55 remaining.

Duke's only point during the run was a foul shot by Plumlee, who went 1-for-2 from the line with 4:37 left to pull Duke within 57-56.

Cook finally ended the Blue Devils' shooting drought with another 3-pointer, cutting the lead to 61-59 with 1:56 remaining.

BC limited Duke to just six foul shots in the first half, and the Blue Devils missed two. The Eagles overcame 38 percent shooting in the first half to reach halftime in a 27-27 tie.

The Eagles wound up shooting 44.7 percent for the game, compared to 40.4 percent for the Blue Devils. However, BC made just two of 11 3-point attempts, while Duke hit six of 17 from long range.

NOTES: Duke beat Boston College for the sixth straight time, improving to 15-2 all-time against the Eagles. ... Boston College was still clearing parking lots two days after the blizzard, and traffic was backed up for several blocks, leaving many fans stuck on the road during the first half. ... The Blue Devils improved to 3-2 on the road in the ACC.
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