Okafor scores 28, No. 2 Duke routs BC 85-62
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) The points are coming from everywhere these days for Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor – even the free-throw line.
Okafor scored a career-high 28 points to lead the second-ranked Blue Devils’ 85-62 rout of Boston College on Saturday.
Okafor, a 50-percent foul shooter, was 14 of 17 from the line – both bests for the preseason All-American.
”Coach K just said something to me after the game: What happened to my free throws?” Okafor said with a laugh.
Quinn Cook added 15 points and the Blue Devils (13-0, 1-0) had little trouble winning their Atlantic Coast Conference opener.
They shot 47 percent and used runs of 17-2 and 14-0 to pull away for their 41st straight victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium – the longest active streak in the nation.
Olivier Hanlan finished with 22 points for the Eagles (7-5, 0-1), who have lost two of three. They never got closer than 10 in the second half.
BC was just 7 of 10 from the foul line while the Blue Devils were 22 of 29.
And most of the heavy lifting there was done by Okafor.
The only time he made a higher percentage of his free throws came Nov. 21 against Temple – when he was 2 for 2.
His previous scoring high didn’t even last a week: Five nights earlier against Toledo, he had 27. He’s finished with at least 20 points in all three games of Duke’s homestand and in six of eight.
”Jah is special in every way,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said.
Aaron Brown scored 11 points for BC, and his 3-pointer with just over 13 minutes left pulled the Eagles to 53-43.
Okafor then started the decisive run of 14 straight points with a jumper in the lane. At the other end of the court, he absorbed an elbow from Dennis Clifford, who was whistled for a foul that was determined to be flagrant during a review.
”Any time that happens, it’s deflating,” BC coach Jim Christian said.
Okafor hit two free throws before 3s on three straight possessions – two by Rasheed Sulaimon, one by Cook – pushed the lead to 66-43 with just under 10 minutes remaining.
Justise Winslow finished with 13 points and Sulaimon had 11 for Duke.
BC guard Dimitri Batten infuriated the Cameron Crazies by slapping the floor. After Hanlan converted a three-point play with 15:18 to go to pull the Eagles to 48-38, Batten came back downcourt and delivered a hard smack to the floor – Duke’s longtime trademark move when it needs a defensive stand. It backfired: Okafor scored on a putback, and the Blue Devils eventually put the game away by reeling off 14 straight points. Forward Amile Jefferson said he saw the slap, then added, ”I mean, whatever gets them going.”
The Blue Devils were behind in this one for 18 seconds, and that pushed the amount of time they’ve spent trailing – all season – to a total of 6 minutes, 13 seconds. BC took a 2-1 lead on its first possession when Clifford hit a jumper 34 seconds in. Winslow countered with a 3 on the next trip downcourt to put Duke ahead to stay.
Boston College: This was the Eagles’ sixth trip to Cameron as ACC members and all six games have been decided by double figures.
Duke: The Blue Devils opened 13-0 for the ninth time in school history. Eight of those starts have come under Krzyzewski – who moved four wins shy of 1,000 for his career.
Boston College hosts Pittsburgh on Tuesday night.
Duke visits Wake Forest on Wednesday night.
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