for this game

Singler, Duke use strong second half to beat pesky BC

Feb 9, 2008 - 10:43 PM DURHAM, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Kyle Singler and Duke avoided a major letdown.

Singler scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds Saturday afternoon as the second-ranked Blue Devils remained undefeated in Atlantic Coast Conference play with a 90-80 triumph over Boston College.

It was the 11th straight victory for Duke (21-1, 9-0 ACC), which improved to 12-0 this season at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The Blue Devils ironically had just posted their most impressive win of the season on the road - an 89-78 victory at hated rival North Carolina on Wednesday.

Three days later, Duke looked sluggish throughout most of its contest with pesky Boston College (12-10, 3-6), which owned a 65-63 lead with 10 minutes remaining Saturday.

"I thought Boston College played very well," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "We knew coming after the North Carolina game, this was going to be difficult. These teams have a tremendous amount of pride, because everybody wants to be in the first division."

The Blue Devils took control of the contest over the next four minutes, reeling off a 17-2 run to claim an 80-67 lead with 6:03 to play.

"We surely don't want to be just a second-half team," Singler said. "We want to put two halves together, but there is no real answer to that.

"We would much rather play better in the first half and the second half, but we just go out there and play basketball and it just happens that we are a second half-team."

Singler made a 3-pointer with 8:46 remaining to give Duke a 66-65 advantage - a lead the Blue Devils would not relinquish. DeMarcus Nelson scored five points during the run, and Singler capped the surge with another 3-pointer.

One of the top freshmen in the country, the 6-8 Singler fell one point short of his season high, shooting 8-of-18 from the floor and 5-of-7 from the free-throw line.

"Kyle does a great job for us," said Duke point guard Greg Paulus, who had eight points and five assists. "He does a little bit of everything, offensively, defensively. He does so many different things for being a big guy."

Nelson scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds while Jon Scheyer added 11 points off the bench for the Blue Devils, who improved to 4-0 here against Boston College.

"We're playing real hard together, and most of the time playing smart," Krzyzewski said. "Today, we were fighting human nature a little bit though. Human nature is a tough opponent, so thank goodness we were able to beat both of them today."

Duke overcame an outstanding effort from BC point guard Tyrese Rice, who scored 28 points despite battling an injured ankle throughout most of the second half.

"Rice is one of the premier players in the country, not just our conference," Krzyzewski said. "He's a big-time player, and he doesn't get tired either. He's one of those kids who just has it. He has special qualities and gives his team an amazing confidence."

But the Eagles ultimately could not handle the Blue Devils' high-octane attack en route to their sixth straight loss.

Biko Paris scored 11 points and fellow reserve Shamari Spears chipped in 10 for the Eagles, who shot 55.2 percent (32-of-58) from the floor but committed 21 turnovers.

"Any time you play - particularly on the road - and you're coming down the stretch, you've got to make sure that you take care of the ball and get the shots that you want and execute," Boston College coach Al Skinner said. "We didn't consistently do that, but again we all understand it's a work-in-progress.

"We just need to be tough enough and disciplined enough to do the things we have to do in order to be successful."