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January 28, 2007

Blue Devils capture fifth straight

On an historic night at Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke soundly defeated Boston College 75-61 thanks to an efficient mix of transition offense, tough rebounding, and tremendous defense around the goal.

With former Blue Devil great Shelden Williams on hand for his jersey retirement ceremony, Duke took a page from The Landlord's playbook by rejecting eight Boston College shots, the most since the Blue Devils blocked eight shots against Gonzaga on December 21st.

Josh McRoberts and DeMarcus Nelson led the way for Duke.

McRoberts had five of the team's eight blocks and recorded a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds despite playing a good portion of the second half with foul difficulty.

Nelson led the Blue Devils with 17 points and eight rebounds, and he also was the catalyst for a key Duke run in the closing minutes of the first half which proved to be the difference in the game.

Duke outscored Boston College 8-1 in the final 2:16 of the first half to turn a 32-31 lead into a 40-32 halftime margin.

Nelson scored the final six points in that run, one that was the result of his own steal and breakaway layup, and another that came with just four seconds remaining to provide one more body blow to the Eagles before the half.

Boston College threatened to make a couple of runs in the second half, but could get no closer than six points while Duke extended the margin to as many as 11 points before a final surge in the closing minutes made the final margin of victory 14 points.

Duke got very balanced production in addition to the big days for Nelson and McRoberts.

Freshman Lance Thomas had his best outing in more than two months as he contributed 10 points and nine rebounds in the win over the Eagles.

Martynas Pocius got into the act as well with four points and three rebounds, in addition to drawing a charge from Boston College's Jared Dudleyin transition.

The only negative moment for Duke came when David McClure went down in the second half with a knee injury. Television reports during the game indicated that McClure's injury appeared to be a hyperextension, and it is thought that the injury isn't severe, but it is still cause for concern.

I'm...really concerned about Dave," Mike Krzyzewski said after the game. "I don't have any word on [his injury]...The initial thing is that we don't think it's unbelievably serious but it's serious enough that he couldn't play."

McClure grabbed his left knee after he was knocked to the floor in a scramble for a loose ball with 6:00 left in the game, causing immediate concern because it is the same knee that was forced him out of action last season.

The win is Duke's fifth straight and moves the Blue Devils within striking distance of the ACC lead as they prepare for a Thursday road game at Virginia.

Dudley led Boston College with 17 points, and he was joined in double figures by Tyrese Rice and Shamari Spears who netted 13 and 12 points on the night.


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