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February 1, 2006

Devils get a close one

CHESTNUT HILL, Massachusetts -- Despite playing without two of its key components down the stretch, Boston College nearly pulled off a phenomenal comeback. J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams made it nothing more than a lot of noise.

Redick and Williams combined for 49 points and hit a host of free throws in the waning moments as No. 2 Duke lost most of an 18-point lead before hanging on for an 83-81 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over the 14th-ranked Eagles.

The Blue Devils' senior stars were a combined 22-of-26 (85 percent) from the line and made a collective 11 in the final six minutes as Duke (20-1, 8-0 ACC) won its third straight and improved to 5-1 against Boston College (16-5, 4-4).

Despite playing with foul trouble that cost them Sean Marshall and leading scorer and rebounder Craig Smith to disqualifications in the final minutes, the Eagles turned a 61-43 deficit into a 71-67 hole on freshman Tyrese Rice's 3-pointer with 3:20 left.

Freshman Greg Paulus split a pair of free throws on the other end before Akida McLain pulled Boston College within 72-69 with 2:36 to go. Redick and McLain traded baskets but Redick added three free throws for a 77-71 advantage with 65 seconds remaining.

Two misses on the stripe by Paulus and a turnover by Lee Melchionni gave the Eagles a chance to stick around and Jared Dudley, who scored a season-high 28 points, pulled them within a point at 78-77 with 17 ticks left.

After Redick made two more foul shots to open a three-point bulge, Rice chose to drive on the other end and appeared to be fouled by Williams, who instead was credited with his seventh blocked shot.

Williams made a pair from the line and Boston College point guard Louis Hinnant a 3-pointer before the buzzer to end the scoring.

Redick made three 3-pointers, including two in a 43-second span early in the second half to become the fourth player in NCAA history to reach 400 for his career.

Freshman Josh McRoberts chipped in 14 points for Duke, which was 29-of-37 (78 percent) from the line.

Dudley was 10-of-14 from the floor but Smith failed to reach double figures for the first time this season, finishing with eight points, eight rebounds and six assists.


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