BOSTON — A big second half capped off a very busy week with a victory for No. 7 Duke.
Paolo Banchero had 16 points and 14 rebounds as Duke pulled away midway into the second half for a 72-61 victory over Boston College on Saturday.
Playing their fourth game in eight days — with a last-second loss at home against Virginia on Monday — the Blue Devils flexed their strength inside and had some timely 3-pointers by Wendell Moore Jr.
“That’s a real quick turnaround for us,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said after his team arrived in Boston at 3:30 a.m. on Friday. “We knew that they would be ready and there would be a big crowd. … We knew we’d have a tough time and we did.”
Moore added 14 points, Trevor Keels had 13, and AJ Griffin and Mark Williams each had 10 for the Blue Devils (21-4, 11-3 Atlantic Coast Conference).
James Karnik led BC (9-14, 4-9) with 21 points and nine boards, DeMarr Langford finished with 16 points and Makai Ashton-Langford had 10 points and seven rebounds.
With former Duke star Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics sitting behind the Blue Devils’ bench, and Celtics president Brad Stevens seated across courtside in a sold-out Conte Forum, the Eagles surprisingly kept it a two-possession game for most of the opening half.
Griffin hit a 3 from the left wing, giving Duke a 33-26 edge late in the half. Williams’ dunk off a feed from Banchero made it 37-28 at the break.
Duke opened its first double-digit lead of the game early in the second half and pushed it to 51-36 when Moore nailed a 3-pointer in front of his team’s bench and Tatum, who also wore 0 in his one season with the Blue Devils.
“He had one in the corner and one right in front of me,” Krzyzewski said. “The one in front of me was nicer.”
BC continually tried to get the ball inside.
“We wanted to play paint ball,” Eagles coach Earl Grant said. “We knew traditionally when you played against Duke in the past, they’re going deny on the perimeter and they’re going to pressure the ball, so it’s hard to pressure and deny and keep somebody out of the paint. … I thought we did a good job executing that.”
With BC football coach Jeff Hafley helping cheer on from the student section behind a basket in front of Duke’s bench, the Eagles had sliced their deficit to seven, but the Blue Devils went on an 11-0 spree and opened their lead to 62-44 with just under eight minutes left. Moore also had a 3 during that run.
Moore took a hard fall and left Thursday’s win at Clemson after a flagrant foul by David Collins.
“He’s been in hot tubs and cold tubs,” Krzyzewski said.
The Blue Devils pushed their lead over 20 points with just under four minutes left.
Banchero was just too much for BC to handle.
“When we needed him most, he came through,” Moore said. “He just made strong drives every time. He might not score every time, but he made the right play.”
The Blue Devils beat BC for the 19th time in their last 21 meetings, with one of the loses coming at Conte on Dec. 9, 2017, when Duke was No. 1.
Gardner-Webb 82, Charleston Southern 65
BOILING SPRINGS — Lance Terry scored a season-high 24 points as Gardner-Webb defeated Charleston Southern 82-65 on Saturday.
D’Maurian Williams added 21 points for the Runnin’ Bulldogs. Williams also had six assists.
Kareem Reid had 10 points, seven rebounds and three blocks for Gardner-Webb (15-10, 9-3 Big South Conference), which won its sixth straight game. Ludovic Dufeal added eight rebounds and three blocks.
Claudell Harris Jr. scored a season-high 20 points for the Buccaneers (5-20, 1-11). Tahlik Chavez added 14 points. Taje’ Kelly had 13 points.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs improve to 2-0 against the Buccaneers on the season. Gardner-Webb defeated Charleston Southern 88-63 on Jan. 5.
NC A&T 70, Longwood 62
GREENSBORO — Kameron Langley posted 17 points as North Carolina A&T topped Longwood 70-62 on Saturday.
Tyler Maye had 12 points for North Carolina A&T (11-15, 6-6 Big South Conference). Justin Whatley added nine rebounds.
Justin Hill had 16 points for the Lancers (18-6, 10-1), whose 11-game win streak was broken. DeShaun Wade added 14 points.
Isaiah Wilkins, the Lancers’ second-leading scorer coming into the contest at 12 points per game, had only four points. He failed to make a shot from 3-point range (0 of 4).
The Aggies evened the season series against the Lancers. Longwood defeated North Carolina A&T 79-71 on Jan. 26.
NC Central 74, Morgan State
BALTIMORE — Justin Wright tallied 24 points and nine rebounds to guide North Carolina Central to a 74-64 victory over Morgan State on Saturday.
Wright made 10 of 18 shots with two 3-pointers for the Eagles (12-11, 5-2 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference). Randy Miller Jr. sank all seven of his free throws and scored 15. Dontavius King had 12 points and six boards. Eric Boone pitched in with nine points, a career-high-tying six steals, six assists and five rebounds.
Malik Miller totaled 21 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and four blocks for the Bears (7-12, 2-5). Lagio Grantsaan added 13 points and seven boards.
UNC Asheville 83, South Carolina Upstate 56
SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Drew Pember had 29 points as UNC Asheville romped past South Carolina Upstate 83-56 on Saturday.
Pember hit 14 of 16 from the free-throw line. LJ Thorpe had 19 points and six assists for UNC Asheville (14-11, 6-6 Big South Conference). Tajion Jones added 12 points.
Bryson Mozone had 15 points for the Spartans (10-14, 7-5). Jalen Breazeale added 12 points. Mysta Goodloe had 11 points.
Jordan Gainey, the Spartans’ second-leading scorer heading into the contest at 14 points per game, failed to make a shot (0 of 7).
SMU 80, East Carolina 80-66
GREENVILLE — Emmanuel Bandoumel had a career-high 23 points as SMU beat East Carolina 80-66 on Saturday night.
Michael Weathers had 13 points for SMU (18-5, 9-2 American Athletic Conference). Marcus Weathers added 11 points. Zach Nutall had 10 points.
Kendric Davis, the Mustangs’ leading scorer at 20 points per game, had 7 points.
Tristen Newton had 19 points for the Pirates (12-12, 3-9). Brandon Suggs added 14 points and eight rebounds. Ludgy Debaut had 11 rebounds.
Georgia State 58, Appalachian State 49
BOONE — Jalen Thomas had 16 points as Georgia State got past Appalachian State 58-49 on Saturday.
Kane Williams had 12 points for Georgia State (11-10, 5-5 Sun Belt Conference), which earned its fourth straight road victory. Justin Roberts added 11 points. Corey Allen had 10 points.
Appalachian State scored 16 points in the first half, a season low for the team.
Justin Forrest had 12 points for the Mountaineers (16-11, 10-4). Adrian Delph added 12 points and seven rebounds. Michael Almonacy had eight rebounds.
The Panthers evened the season series against the Mountaineers. Appalachian State defeated Georgia State 61-60 on Jan. 20.
Pitt 71, NC State 69
PITTSBURGH — John Hugley had 21 points and 10 rebounds and Ithiel Horton scored four key points in the final 17 seconds to lead Pittsburgh to a 71-69 victory over NC State on Saturday.
A layup by Horton gave Pitt a 67-63 lead with 17 seconds remaining then Thomas Allen hit a 3-pointer to draw the Wolfpack within one. NC State sent Horton to the line with nine seconds remaining and he hit both for a 69-66 lead. Both teams fouled on the ensuing possessions and time ran out on the Wolfpack.
Horton and Jamarius Burton scored 17 points each for Pittsburgh. Hugley made 13 of 15 free throws, while Horton was 4 for 4 and Burton 6 for 6 from the line. They were the only Panthers to attempt a free throw, finishing a combined 23 of 25. NC State made 14 of 16 free throws and both teams shot 40% overall.
Dereon Seabron led NC State (10-16, 3-12 ACC) with 17 points and Jericole Hellems added 10. Terquavion Smith, who averages 15.5 points per game, scored six on 2-of-12 shooting.
The Panthers (10-16, 5-10) opened the second half with an extended 19-4 run in which Horton scored seven points and Mouhamadou Gueye added five points. Now trailing 45-35, the Wolfpack bounced back with eight straight points, including two 3-pointers by Smith.
After that exchange the teams stayed within five points of each other the remainder of the game.
NC State had won 11 in a row in the series, dating to Jan. 4, 2014, but eight of those wins were by six points or fewer.
The loss extends NC State’s conference losing streak to six games.
Rhode Island 72, Davidson 65
KINGSTON, R.I. — Jeremy Sheppard had 23 points as Rhode Island got past Davidson 72-65 on Saturday.
Makhi Mitchell had 16 points and 11 rebounds for Rhode Island (13-10, 4-7 Atlantic 10 Conference), which snapped its six-game losing streak. Makhel Mitchell added 11 points. Antwan Walker had seven rebounds.
Foster Loyer had 20 points for the Wildcats (20-4, 10-2), whose four-game win streak came to an end. Hyunjung Lee added 17 points. Michael Jones had 13 points and seven rebounds.
The Rams evened the season series against the Wildcats. Davidson defeated Rhode Island 72-68 on Jan. 8.
Towson 86, Elon 50
TOWSON, Md. — Charles Thompson had 20 points and blocked four shots as Towson rolled to an 86-50 victory over Elon on Saturday.
Thompson knocked down 9 of 11 shots from the floor for the Tigers (19-7, 10-3 Colonial Athletic Association). Antonio Rizzuto added 10 points and Juwan Gray grabbed seven rebounds.
Towson led 42-16 at halftime. Elon’s first-half points were a season low for the team.
Hunter McIntosh and reserve Zac Ervin scored nine points apiece to lead the Phoenix (8-18, 5-8).
The Tigers improve to 2-0 against the Phoenix for the season. Towson defeated Elon 59-54 on Jan. 15.