Duke rally at BC falls short in first loss of the season

Red-hot Eagles pull of home court upset over No. 1 Blue Devils

Boston College guard Ky Bowman holds the ball as fans begin to rush the court as the Duke Blue Devils start to walk away after the game at Silvio Conte Forum. (Greg M. Cooper / USA TODAY Sports)

BOSTON — Boston College coach Jim Christian says there will be a new poster on the wall outside the basketball office at Conte Forum.

“When you walk down the hallway (outside) our office, they have posters of the greatest moments, all the big wins, the conference championships, the beating No. 1 teams in the nation — we’re putting one up for this one,” Christian said after his Eagles stunned No. 1 Duke 89-84 Saturday.

“That’s where I would put it. When you get a poster up on that wall, it’s a big thing because of the proud history of this place.”

Jerome Robinson hit two consecutive 3-pointers late and Ky Bowman had 30 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists as the unranked Eagles, who blew a 10-point second-half lead, held off the Blue Devils — triggering a mob scene on the court after the game.

Both Robinson, who scored 24 points and was 5-for-5 from 3-point range, and Bowman grew up in North Carolina, as UNC fans, obviously not loving Duke.

“My mom was a Duke fan, so she’s probably pretty sad,” Robinson said.

The Eagles won this game after losing leading rebounder Deontae Hawkins for the year to knee surgery. Hawkins was there, about 18 hours after surgery, sitting behind his team’s bench, helping out. Christian said he was “coaching.”

With 5.6 seconds left, the sellout Boston College crowd, which included many Duke fans, chanted “Over-rated” at Duke, which lost for only the third time in 23 all-time games against BC — both teams playing their ACC openers.

The loss, coming in Duke‘s 3,000th game, deprived coach Mike Krzyzewski of his 500th road win with the program.

“Their kids played great,” Krzyzewski said. “I mean, c’mon — this isn’t about us being horrible, this is about how great they were. They were terrific. Not good — they were terrific.”

The Eagles were down by four before Robinson hit his two straight 3s to give his team the lead for good with 1:18 remaining.

Jordan Chatman added a season-high 22 points for the Eagles (7-3). He hit four straight free throws and Robinson two in the final 15.3 seconds.

The Eagles came in as 15 1/2-point underdogs but led by 10 with 15:36 left before Duke (11-1) came charging back.

“They made a lot of shots,” said Duke‘s Grayson Allen, who suffered through a dismal 5-for-20 shooting day from the floor, 1-for-9 from 3-point range.

“It was tough to defend them tonight. A lot of credit goes out to them. They made tough shot after tough shot. (The) two guards, Bowman and Robinson, made a bunch of tough shots, and we didn’t have an answer for them.”

BC made 15 of 26 from 3-point range. Duke was just 8 of 30 from long range.

At halftime, Christian told his players they were “20 minutes to a lifetime memory” and then the coaches counted it down during the second half.

“Then it was 10 (minutes),” said Christian, “then it was eight, then it was four and throughout the whole time, the poise of our kids, when (Duke) went up four, we never rattled, we stayed with what we did. There were so many winning plays out there … this is ACC basketball, man. This is what it’s all about.”

The win was BC’s third straight playing a No. 1 team — the Eagles defeating North Carolina in 2009 and Syracuse in 2014, both on the road. The program is 4-5 all-time against No. 1s.

Freshman Gary Trent Jr. led the young Blue Devils with 25 points, while fellow frosh Marvin Bagley III had 15 points and 12 rebounds, his seventh straight double-double. Wendell Carter had 10 points and six boards, and freshman Trevon Duval also scored 10. Allen, who suffered a bruise under his right eye in the first half, had six assists.

Bagley, regarded as a potential top pick in the 2018 NBA draft, scored just five second-half points, with BC freshman Steffon Mitchell doing the dirty work on defense.

“Every team’s going to come out and play their hardest against us,” Bagley said after his first college loss. “That team did not miss a shot. They shot it very well tonight.

“When it’s going like that, we’re playing good defense on some of those possessions, and you know they make shots like that, you know it’s nothing you can do but keep your head up and keep trying to get stops. It was just that type of day for them. They’re a great team, and we’ve just got to get better and we’ve got to play better and we will get better.”

NOTES: This is Duke‘s 134th week ranked No. 1, tying UCLA for the most weeks ranked No. 1. The Blue Devils will now likely have to wait for No. 135. … Eagles G Ky Bowman came in as the only player in the country averaging at least 15.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.4 assists to this point in the season. … The Boston College football team, headed for the Dec. 27 Pinstripe Bowl in New York, was honored during a second-half timeout. … Duke is off until Dec. 20 when it hosts Evansville, while BC hosts Columbia on Tuesday night.