Boozer powers Duke to victory

Posted: Friday, January 25, 2002

BOSTON -- Carlos Boozer turned a battle of the backcourts into a blowout.

The Duke center tied his career-high with 28 points and added seven rebounds on Thursday night as the top-ranked Blue Devils opened a 29-point first-half lead and coasted to an 88-78 victory over Boston College.

"We've got the best perimeter in college basketball," said Boozer, a 1999 Juneau-Douglas High School graduate. "I try to complement those guys so they can make 3s and break down the defense."

Dahntay Jones had 18 points and six rebounds and Mike Dunleavy had 16 points, five rebounds and five assists for Duke (17-1), which has won five consecutive games by an average of almost 20 points since its only loss, to Florida State, on Jan. 6.

"We're in the third week of our season. That's the way we look at it," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

Boozer's play overshadowed the matchup of two of the nation's top backcourts. Duke's Jason Williams leads the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring and BC's Troy Bell is the top scorer in the Big East.

BC's guards, Bell and Ryan Sidney, each had eight turnovers, but they outscored Williams and Chris Duhon 36-25. Still, there was no question which was the better team.

"I'm looking at the bottom line," BC coach Al Skinner said. "They won, we lost."

Williams scored 15 points and Duhon had 10 with seven assists for the Blue Devils.

Bell scored 26 points and Sidney had 10 as Boston College (14-5) lost for the fourth time in its last six games.

"We wanted to come out and make a statement that they had no chance of winning the game," Duhon said.

Uka Agbai had nine rebounds and a career-high 20 points and Kenny Walls scored 14 points for the Eagles, who had been ranked in the Top 25 for 20 consecutive polls -- climbing to No. 10 earlier this season -- before dropping out this week.

Duke used two 13-0 runs in the first half to open leads of 20-3 and 42-13. The Blue Devils led by 20 at halftime and 70-42 on Boozer's layup with 12:51 left in the game before BC mustered enough of a charge to make it respectable.

"It seemed to me like we were in kind of a daze or something," Agbai said. "You can't turn the ball over like we did and expect to win."

It was 71-44 when BC scored 10 of the next 12 points, then added an 8-0 run to make it 75-62 while holding Duke to one basket over six minutes. Bell hit a leaner from the lane to make it 77-66 with 4:07 left.

But Sidney fouled out at the other end and Williams made one free throw. Dunleavy followed with a turnaround jumper to make it 80-66, and BC only got within 10 points with Andrew Bryant's 22-footer at the buzzer.

"The good thing was that we did battle back," Skinner said. "I'm not saying we would have won the game, but we did have a chance to get it under single digits."

After losing to Florida State for the only blemish on its record, Duke won its next four games by an average of 22 points, including a 99-78 victory over No. 3 Maryland last week.

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