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No. 16 Duke looks to overcome ACC road woes vs. BC

Jan 4, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA;  Duke Blue Devils coach Jon Scheyer shouts at the referee during the second half against North Carolina State Wolfpack at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports

It has been six seasons since Duke lost its first three ACC road games.

Considering how well the No. 16 Blue Devils have traditionally fared against Boston College, they might have a good chance to prevent that from happening again on Saturday vs. the Eagles at Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Jon Scheyer knew his first season as Duke coach wasn’t going to be easy. And his squad already has faced some conference adversity, notably on the road.

The Blue Devils (11-4, 2-2) have beaten Boston College (8-7, 2-2) and Florida State at home this season by a combined 35 points but have lost at Wake Forest and North Carolina State by the same margin.

Wednesday’s 84-60 defeat at NC State might end up being the low point of the season for Scheyer and the Blue Devils. Duke did not score in the first eight minutes, had just four points through the first 11, shot 39.6 percent from the field overall and allowed the Wolfpack to shoot 47.1 percent and block nine shots.

“I knew this when I took the job that there’s gonna be some moments like this, where people can doubt you,” Scheyer said. “They can doubt us as a team; sometimes the best way to learn is to experience it.

“You wish you were 2-0 on the road or 4-0 in the conference, but that’s not how it works. For us it’s all about how you learn from it – and that’s how I’m gonna approach it.”

In ACC play on the road this season, Duke has 130 points and has gone just 13 of 42 from 3-point range while allowing both opponents to score in the 80s and shoot a combined 48 percent. The Blue Devils last started 0-3 in the ACC in 2016-17.

“We know the road games are tough,” said guard Jeremy Roach, who has just 22 points in the past three games and has combined to shoot 2 of 18 from the field in the past two.

“We got to be even more locked in on the road. Learn and go to (Boston College) on Saturday.”

Roach, who averages a career-high 11.9 points a game, had just six during Duke’s 75-59 home win over Boston College on Dec. 3. However, freshman Mark Mitchell scored 15 and Kyle Filipowski added 13 with 10 rebounds as the Blue Devils shot 52.8 percent to win their seventh straight over the Eagles.

The Eagles improved to 6-2 at home this season with Tuesday’s 70-63 victory over Notre Dame. Boston College has won its past three home games and has held those opponents, including then-No. 21 Virginia Tech, to an average of 61.3 points.

“Our team is coming into form,” Eagles coach Earl Grant said. “We’ve just got to do what’s best for the team. Whatever helps the team the most … to have a chance to be successful.”

BC guard Jaeden Zackery, who is averaging 10.9 points per game, had 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field against Notre Dame. He scored 14 while making 6 of 11 shots at Duke last month.

–Field Level Media