Women's Basketball, Basketball, Winter, Sports

Duke Dominates BC 68–27 as Eagles Record Second-Lowest Scoring Performance in ACC History

In a game that No. 9 Duke controlled both on the court and in the crowd, the Blue Devils held Boston College women’s basketball to single digits in each quarter and 27 points for the game on Thursday night for the second-lowest scoring performance in ACC history.

Duke—a team that’s reached triple-digit scores twice this season—flexed its muscle in the program’s 1,000th win, as the Blue Devils became just the fourth ACC school and 24th program overall to reach that mark. 

The Eagles (14–13, 4–10 Atlantic Coast) could do nothing to stop Duke’s suffocating defense and scoring runs and collapsed against the Blue Devils (21–3, 11–2) in a 68–27 blowout. 

The first quarter was the only close one as BC and Duke shook off the dust in the first few minutes of play. Five lead changes ended with a Celeste Taylor 3-pointer and a 13–2 Duke run that put the Blue Devils up 17–9 at the end of the first quarter. Duke maintained the lead for the rest of the game. 

The second quarter started efficiently for the Eagles with a quick Taina Mair 3-pointer and an Ava McGee layup closing the gap to just five with BC trailing 19–14. But 14 points is all the Eagles would score in the first half, as the Blue Devils rattled off 13 unanswered points. Duke’s well-oiled offense created open looks and opportunities from BC’s seven turnovers in the quarter. 

“We looked disheveled on the offensive end,” BC head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee said. “We needed to make up possessions but we never did”

The Eagles had quality opportunities but failed to convert many of them—BC shot just 26 percent from the field in the first half—and Duke’s 44 percent shooting from the field was enough to sail past the lack of offensive prowess on BC’s end. The Eagles ended the first half down 32–14. 

“Our defense in the first half was pretty good,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “I never really thought that I would coach a team that scores that little in a basketball game.”

The Eagles were once again held to single-digit scoring in the third quarter. Duke opened the second half with a 7–2 run capped off by a technical foul on BC center Maria Gakdeng, which added to the Blue Devils’ momentum. Duke opted for a full-court press for some of the quarter, suffocating BC’s transition offense. 

BC turned the ball over just four times in the third quarter, but had accumulated 18 total turnovers up to that point, while the Blue Devils had committed seven. BC registered 25 turnovers by the end of the game, seven of which were Mair’s. 

“I want us to be more confident,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “I think a lot of those turnovers were a little bit of second guessing and lack of confidence.”

And the Eagles’ confidence when shooting dwindled in the third quarter. BC shot just 7 percent from the field, recording 1-of-13 shooting in the quarter. Duke remained poised and finished the quarter up 48–22. 

The fourth quarter was no different with Duke coasting to a 9–2 run in the beginning of the quarter. BC never came back within 30 points of Duke’s lead. The Blue Devils’ crowd became louder as Duke’s bench entered into the game, and every Duke player that made an appearance scored. 

“They do a really nice job staying disciplined in their defense, and it takes a disciplined offense that kind of works together and has a little bit more maturity than we kind of showed tonight to really get into the things we worked on the last couple days,” Bernabei-McNamee said.


February 10, 2023