After narrowly escaping Boston College with a one-point victory just two weeks ago, Duke dominated the Eagles in their rematch as Rasheed Sulaimon‘s career-day lifted the Blue Devils to an 89-68 win Feb. 24.
Sulaimon poured in a career-high 27 points off 10-of-15 shooting from the field, 3-for-5 shooting from beyond the arc and 4-for-4 shooting from the charity stripe. The freshman scored in transition, got to the bucket and made shots from the perimeter as he dominated both ends of the court. Sulaimon also limited Boston College (12-15, 4-10) freshman guard Olivier Hanlan, one of the Eagles’ top scorers, to 12 points off 38% shooting and chipped in three assists as well as three rebounds.
Duke (24-3, 11-3) cruised the entire game as Mason Plumlee picked up his ACC-best 16th double-double of 19 points and 15 rebounds. Plumlee shot 4-of-7 from the field, as well as a 11-of-15 mark from the charity stripe, and showcased his usual sky-hooks and interior post moves. He turned the ball over five times, but dished out four assists and added two steals and a block in 33 minutes of play.
As a team, the Blue Devils shot well for the second straight game as they knocked down nearly 54% of their shots, including 47% from three-point land. Seth Curry exemplified both of those marks as he hit over 57% of his attempts and half of his triples. He knocked down the open shots, but didn’t have to do much in his 25 minutes in Duke’s dominant win.
Quinn Cook put together a 12-point, three-rebound, three-assist and two-steal performance in addition to just one turnover as his perfect 4-for-4 mark from the free-throw line reflected the Blue Devils’ success at the charity stripe. Duke shot nearly 80% and over 30 free throws and dished out assists on over half of their buckets. They also out-rebounded Boston College, 30-26, and Plumlee became the third player in Duke history with 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 150 blocks, joining Shelden Williams and Mike Gminski as he grabbed his first board. His fifth rebound of the day moved him past Danny Ferry for seventh on the Blue Devils all-time list.
Although Josh Hairston is the one who has been playing well lately in place of Ryan Kelly, Amile Jefferson was the better replacement today as he scored a career-high 14 points in 21 minutes of play. Although he fouled out, he shot 5-of-7 from the field and 4-of-5 from the charity stripe. Jefferson scored well around the bucket and finished through contact well.
With just four regular season games left, Duke sits at second place in the ACC, primed for a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Blue Devils are separated by two games from both Miami (22-4, 13-1) and North Carolina (19-8, 9-5) and Virginia (19-8, 9-5) as they play all three of those teams in the final four contests of the season. Duke takes on the Cavaliers next as they travel to Charlottesville, Virginia Thursday at 9pm with the game televised on ESPN.