Women's Basketball Falls to No. 3 Duke, 78-57
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Boston College coach Erik Johnson is eager to see how much his team will benefit from a rough week against the nation's elite.
Three days after a 42-point loss at No. 2 Notre Dame, the Eagles lost 78-57 at No. 3 Duke on Sunday.
The defeats followed a stretch in which Boston College had won seven games in a row.
"That was a pretty serious weekend for us," Johnson said. "Games like this, and weekends like this, are when you find out a lot about yourself. So what Duke really showed us is where we are and where we still need to go."
For Duke (16-1, 3-0), Richa Jackson scored a season-high 17 points. Haley Peters added 15 points and Alexis Jones had 10 for the Blue Devils.
Chelsea Gray battled through a bruised thigh to score 11 points for Duke, which took control with a 19-2 run early in the first half.
The Eagles scored on the first possession of the second half to cut Duke's lead to 43-32, but the Blue Devils answered with an 8-0 spurt.
Boston College shot 34 percent from the floor, including 9 of 34 from 3-point range.
"I thought the difference in this game was that they recovered so fast," Johnson said. "They were getting out to our shooters, so our percentage went down a little bit because we were rushing."
Gray, the ACC leader in assists and steals, sat out the final 7:56 of the first half and the first 59 seconds of the second half with her injury. She limped her way through the early part of the second half before heading to the bench for good with Duke ahead 54-34 with 12:17 to play.
Gray heavily favored her right leg, on which she wears a knee brace after season-ending surgery last year.
Gray was not available for comment after the game, but Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said Gray was sore.
"She's OK, but we didn't play her for a reason," McCallie said.
The Blue Devils led 43-29 at halftime, seizing control with their defense.
After taking a 6-5 lead less than three minutes into the game, Boston College had turnovers on 12 of its next 16 possessions.
Duke ripped off a 19-2 run during that span despite significant foul trouble.
"They came out, and their defensive intensity definitely got us back on our heels," Johnson said.
Duke starters Jones, Peters and Tricia Liston each had two fouls less than seven minutes into the game. Liston and Peters sat for the remainder of the half.
"We've never had that kind of foul trouble in any game we've ever played," McCallie said. "To have so many people with two fouls in the first half, it was an interesting twist to the game."
Gray picked up the slack in their absence, engineering points on five consecutive possessions as the Blue Devils built their lead.
Gray made a 3-pointer, a wing jumper and two free throws in addition to assisting on a pair of layups to give Duke a 24-8 lead with 8:20 left in the half.
When she departed, Jackson took over with 10 points in the final seven minutes of the half.
"I just wanted to come in and bring a lot of energy, whatever I had to do," Jackson said. "It's very rare that a lot of our starters get in foul trouble, so you just have to be ready and take advantage of your opportunities."