No. 9 Duke women dominate Boston College 68-27
BOSTON (AP) — Duke coach Kara Lawson looked down at the postgame box score and marveled at the numbers she saw.
Or, more precisely, the numbers she didn’t see.
The ninth-ranked Blue Devils held Boston College to single-digit scoring in all four quarters in a 68-27 victory on Thursday night. The 27 points were the fewest allowed by Duke this season and second-fewest the Blue Devils have ever yielded in an Atlantic Coast Conference game.
“If we’ve held a team in single digits in a quarter ... then we’re like, ‘OK, we played a good defensive quarter,’” Lawson said. “Didn’t expect to have four in a row. But I felt like we played pretty good defense in the first quarter that we held them to nine and that ended up being the quarter we gave up the most points in.”
Reigan Richardson scored 14 points and Celeste Taylor added 11 for Duke, which earned the 1,000th victory in program history. Richardson scored 10 points in the second quarter, when the Blue Devils (21-3, 11-2 ACC) turned a five-point lead into a 32-14 runaway.
Boston College (14-13, 4-10) made just two baskets in the period, going scoreless for the last 7:55 of the half. Duke held BC to one basket in the third while extending the lead to 26 points, and two in the fourth, shutting the Eagles out for the last four minutes of the game.
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“I never would have thought it, that I would coach a team that scores that little in a basketball game,” BC coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee said. “We just never had a really good flow. That’s a credit for Duke, and how they defend.”
Maria Gakdeng had 11 points and seven rebounds for the Eagles, who shot 18.4% from the field.
The blowout pleased the many Blue Devils fans in the crowd of 2,347 — the biggest of the season at the Conte Forum. A boisterous cheer erupted when Duke reserve Shay Bollin, who is from nearby Raynham, scored with 32 seconds left.
Also showing their support were Celtics forward Grant Williams and team president Brad Stevens. Lawson, who was an assistant for the NBA team before taking the job at Duke, brought the Blue Devils to the Celtics game against Philadelphia on Wednesday night.
“The Celtics organization gave me my first opportunity to coach,” she said. “It’s a family, and I’m still part of that family. I still root really hard for them and I want them to win. And so it was a chance to kind of blend my two families.”
Lawson, who has won 41 games since taking over at Duke in 2020, deferred credit for the 1,000-win milestone to those who came before her.
“Obviously, when you coach at Duke, you know it’s way bigger than any one person, any one player,” she said. “I think it just speaks to the tradition and the level of success and the type of people that we have in our program. I’ve only been here three years, so we’re making a little contribution to that but not a very big one.”
The Blue Devils grabbed sole possession of first place in the ACC with a victory at Notre Dame on Sunday. Duke faces fifth-place Miami on Sunday and then third-place Virginia Tech on Thursday in Blacksburg.
BC had won two straight against Duke, including a win in Durham last year that was the Eagles’ first in Cameron Indoor Stadium since joining the ACC. But the Eagles lost for the eighth time in nine games.
Duke: Hosts Miami on Sunday.
Boston College: Visits No. 14 North Carolina on Sunday.
AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25