Associated PressBOSTON -- Another big upset for Scott Brown's family.Just a few hours after her father wassworn in as the newest member of the U.S. Senate, Ayla Brown helpedBoston College knock off sixth-ranked Duke 61-57 on Thursday night."He sent me a text message before thegame saying, 'I wanted to be at the game, but I'm so proud of you. Winit for me,'" Ayla Brown, a backup forward on the Eagles and a formerAmerican Idol contestant, told The Associated Press. "And that's whatwe did."Carolyn Swords scored 14 points andadded nine rebounds for BC (13-10, 4-4 Atlantic Coast Conference),going 8 for 8 from the line in the final 5 minutes. It was the Eagles'first victory over a ranked team since beating then-No. 2 Ohio State inthe second round of the 2006 NCAA tournament.Jasmine Thomas scored 19 points for Duke (18-4, 6-1), which has spent 200 straight weeks in the AP Top 25."It only takes one game like this toturn our team around in terms of our confidence level," BC coach SylviaCrawley said. "Until that happens, you're always intimidated by thoseteams. This is huge for this team. A mindset is a hard thing to change.I think they are coming around in terms of believing in what we'redoing."Brown scored six points, making a keybasket midway through the second half after Duke went ahead 41-38 tomatch its biggest lead of the game. Swords hit a pair of free throws togive BC the lead, and though the game remained close the Eagles nevertrailed again.Swords went 10 for 10 from the linein all, and BC made 20 of 21 free throws in the game as they foughtback the Blue Devil's attempt at a comeback."If we're going to be a special team, we've got a long way to go," Duke coach Joanne McCallie said.Scott Brown, a former state senator,overcame a double-digit deficit in the polls to stun Democrat MarthaCoakley and win the seat that had been held by Ted Kennedy for almost50 years. At a Capitol Hill ceremony on Thursday, Vice President JoeBiden swore him in as the Senate's 41st Republican - giving the GOP thevote they need to filibuster Democratic initiatives.So, which was the bigger upset?"I think Brown over Coakley is abigger upset, because that's for the state of Massachusetts," said AylaBrown, who had an active role in the campaign. "But in my eyes, this isthe biggest upset I've ever experienced in my basketball career."And that even made it worth missing her dad's big day."Obviously, I wish I was there,"Ayla Brown said. "But at the same time, I have a job to do. That's whyI stayed behind, and he understood."It was the second straight victoryfor BC, which beat Miami on Sunday after losing its previous fourgames. The Blue Devils had won four straight since losing to top-rankedConnecticut 81-48, but they've played just two games in the past 11days.The rust showed early.Duke fell behind 7-0 but the gamewas tied 30-all at halftime and the Blue Devils opened a 41-38 leadbefore Brown's jumper and Swords free throws to give the Eagles thelead. Duke tied it one last time when Thomas came out of a timeout andhit a floating jumper from the side of the key to make it 55-alll with59 seconds left.But Brittanny Johnson made a pair offree throws and then Swords - shaking off a timeout called to ice her -did the same. By the time Bridgette Mitchell's basket brought Dukewithin two points, there were only three seconds left.After Picco's foul shots iced it andthe last second ticked off the clock, the BC players ran to the centerof the court to celebrate.
BRIGHTON -- It was good news when word first filtered out that David Backes had resumed skating last weekend while the Bruins were on the West Coast, and even better news Tuesday when he returned to practice. Backes skated without any restrictions in a spot on the third line with Riley Nash and Tim Schaller, and appeared to be recovering nicely from his bout of diverticulitis.
Backes was initially diagnosed with the inflammatory colon ailment in the first few days of October, with the team estimating a three- to four-week recovery period. If he'd needed surgery rather than the prescribed rest and medication, he could have been facing a lot more missed games.
Patrice Bergeron was also back skating on Tuesday morning while centering Brad Marchand and Anders Bjork, still sporting a maroon no-contact jersey while taking some light contact during the practice session.
Backes and Bergeron look like they’ could be returning to the lineup soon.
But the injury news wasn't all good, as Ryan Spooner, Austin Czarnik, Danton Heinen and Adam McQuaid were all missing from practice.
Spooner (lower body) and McQuaid (lower body) were both injured in Sunday night’s loss to the Vegas Golden Knights, and Czarnik and/or Heinen might be ticketed back to Providence soon if the Bruins have to make roster space for Bergeron and/or Backes ahead of Thursday night’s home game against the Vancouver Canucks.
Here are the line combos and D-pairings from Tuesday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena with a whole different look to things with some of the different bodies taking part in the skate: