BOSTON (AP) — Duke first-year coach Jon Scheyer felt his young, talented team certainly learned a lot by getting pushed to the closing seconds.
Dariq Whitehead scored 18 points, Kyle Filipowski hit two clutch free throws and the No. 16 Blue Devils rebounded from a miserable loss by beating Boston College 65-64 on Saturday.
Filipowski finished with 15 points and nine rebounds, while Mark Mitchell added 14 points for the Blue Devils (12-4, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference).
“The was a big-time game, a big-time ACC road game for us,” Scheyer said. “We knew coming in off the game we had Wednesday night, we learned a lot. For us to be in an end-of-game situation like that, I think we grew up a lot.”
Duke was coming off its worst loss as a ranked team facing an unranked ACC opponent, 84-60 at North Carolina State.
“When you have a bad loss, you want to get that taste out of your mouth,” Mitchell said. “You can see we were just fighting today.”
Quinten Post led the Eagles (8-8, 2-3) with 16 points and six boards, Makai Ashton-Langford had 12 points and DeMarr Langford Jr. added 11.
Duke trailed 64-63 before Filipowski sank his free throws with 12.4 seconds left. Ashton-Langford then missed an off-balance jumper in the closing seconds.
“They did a good job of jumping his right hand,” BC coach Earl Grant said of Ashton-Langford’s shot. “I think he felt like: ‘Take the best shot’ that he could. We probably had a little bit more time, but you go through those situations, you learn from them and try to get better next time you’re in them.”
Trailing 63-62, BC’s Jaeden Zackery had a driving shot blocked by Mitchell at the rim, but Post hit a turnaround jumper with 28 seconds left.
Chants of ‘Let’s Go Eagles!’ drowned out a large contingent of Blue Devils’ fans yelling ‘Let’s Go Duke!’ during timeouts late in the game.
Filipowski’s layup gave the Blue Devils a 52-38 edge 5 ½ minutes into the second half before the Eagles went on a 16-2 spree to tie it on Zackery’s fast-break layup with just under nine minutes to play.
The Blue Devils went without a basket for over nine minutes before Filipowski’s driving basket made it 63-59 with 1:41 to go. But BC’s Prince Aligbe nailed a 3 — his first of the game— from the left corner 19 seconds later.
Down 15-0 before scoring their first basket nearly eight minutes into their last game, the Blue Devils looked determined to pound the ball inside from the start. They scored on Whitehead’s layup 11 seconds into the game on Saturday.
Duke: Facing his first rough stretch with losses in two of the last three games before Saturday, Scheyer saw his team rely on its muscle and skill to overcome a scrappy BC team to end a two-game road losing streak.
Boston College: In Grant’s second season, the Eagles keep showing why they’ll be hard to play against, relying on defense first. If they can add some consistent scorers, they may climb into the upper portion of the conference.
Duke guard Jeremy Roach, the team’s second-leading scorer (11.9 points per game) and tops in assists (3.2), missed the game with a toe injury.
“We need Jeremy to get well,” Scheyer said. “If that means it’s a week, two weeks, whatever time that means. I would be shocked if he plays the next game, but we’re not ruling him out from that yet.”
With a full second left in the first half, Langford took the ball out of bounds under his own basket, throwing a high pass to 7-footer Post, who made the catch and hit a fadeaway jumper near the left baseline.
Duke: Hosts Pittsburgh on Wednesday.
Boston College: At No. 12 Miami on Wednesday.
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