Quinten Post was searching for his first field goal with less than a minute remaining in the opening half. After pump-faking past his defender near the rim, Boston College men’s basketball’s 7-footer seemingly secured it.
But Duke’s Kyle Filipowski would have none of it. Smacking Post’s shot attempt away, Filipowski held Duke’s halftime lead at 36–32 in a sequence that would epitomize BC’s struggles throughout the rest of the game.
In the battle between the two teams’ best players, Filipowski had his way—a disparity that made all the difference in No. 9 Duke’s (18–5, 9–3 Atlantic Coast) 80–65 victory over the Eagles (13–10, 4–8). Post finished with four points from the field and four free throws, while the projected NBA lottery pick Filipowski recorded 16 points off 7-of-15 shooting.
“Where he hurt us the most was his passing,” BC head coach Earl Grant said. “He really did a good job finding his teammates on the weak side, and it just seemed like every time he found them, they made a shot.”
The Eagles held strong in the first half, taking a 28–27 lead with under five minutes left in the frame behind back-to-back threes from Claudell Harris Jr., who made his return to the starting lineup after a four-game stint coming off the bench. But the game unraveled quickly in the start of the second half.
“The biggest segment we didn’t win in the game was the first four minutes of the second half,” Grant said. “I think the biggest difference was in the first half, we really took care of the ball. We had great offensive maturity. We were working for the right shots. In the start of the second half, it went from four to 12 pretty quick, and it stayed 12. So that was the separation. That was pretty much it.”
The Blue Devils pieced together a 7–0 run to establish its first double-digit lead of the game—one that the Eagles never seriously threatened the rest of the way. While BC struggled to stop Duke’s offense—which finished the game shooting 47.6 percent from the field—Mason Madsen kept the game from collapsing into a complete Duke blowout.
In his second start of the season, the senior guard totaled a team-high 15 points off 6-of-11 shooting.
“You definitely want to go to the hot hand as much as you can,” Grant said. “And [Madsen] took the second-most shots on the team.”
Post continued to struggle amid a steady stream of double-teams, preventing the Eagles from generating enough momentum to fuel a comeback. Primarily defended by Mark Mitchell, BC’s leading scorer just couldn’t get to his spots and only put up five shot attempts en route to an eight-point performance.
“That’s something we’ve been seeing all year,” Grant said. “They put the smaller guy on, try to have a more mobile guy—and they did a good job. They fronted him in the post, were physical with him.”
Grant, however, praised Post’s passing.
“I thought QP did an excellent job of getting the ball out of the double team and passing it to the weak side,” Grant said. “That’s some of the reasons we were getting good shots. So he didn’t force it. He had to surrender his own scoring for the betterment of the team.”
Despite Post opening up quality perimeter looks, the Eagles made only five 3-pointers and shot 19.2 percent from deep. BC has still yet to ever defeat Duke on the road, with its latest bid ultimately stymied by the way the Eagles opened the second half, according to Grant.
“It was just that first part of the second half that really flipped the game in their favor, and it stayed even pretty much the rest of the game after that,” Grant said.