BOX SCORE: Clemson 77 Boston College 69
The win improved Clemson to 17-7 (6-4 ACC) and dropped Boston College 15-9 (5-5 ACC)—just what the doctor ordered for game one of this week's critical two-game home stand.
"I know we were tied with Boston College, and there were a lot of teams in the mix right there together," said Demontez Stitt, who scored 16 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out four assists. "For us to get this win, and to get this win on Saturday, it will sort of separate us a little bit and put us up towards the top of the conference."
Heading into Saturday afternoon's game against North Carolina, Clemson will be coming off a solid performance, according to head coach Brad Brownell.
"That might have been our best game of the year," he said. "We beat a very good opponent playing really well, and it took us playing really well to do it."
Jerai Grant scored a team-high 17 on 7-of-9 shooting from the field. As a team, the Tigers shot 53 percent from the field, committed just seven turnovers and combined for 16 assists.
"If we lose this one, then we have a tough road to go," Brownell said. "It's still pretty tough, but we needed to win this game against these guys, to give us a chance to play for significant things, at least."
For Boston College, Reggie Jackson scored a game-high 27 on 3-of-9 shooting from behind the 3-point line. Joe Trapani, who hit 3-of-6 from long range, had 22 points.
"With Trapani, he's a great player," said Andre Young, who came off the bench to score 15 and dish out a game-high five assists. "They move him all around, three, four and five. He sets picks. It really can be confusing at times, because he can shoot threes. Guys on the weak side have to show. Then, we have to run out, close out, [and] really contest."
Clemson limited Boston College to 38 percent shooting from the field. The Eagles went 9-of-30 from behind the 3-point line.
Just over two minutes into the game, Clemson jumped out to a quick 6-0 run, forcing Boston College head coach Steve Donahue to call an early 30-second timeout.
Three minutes after the timeout, back-to-back 3's from Corey Raji cut the Tigers' lead to 12-11. With 9:06 left in the half, the Eagles took a 16-15 lead on a 3-pointer by Trapani.
Clemson regained the lead (26-24) with a 3-pointer from Young. The Tigers wouldn't trail again.
Young assisted on dunks by Tanner Smith and Jerai Grant in the final minute of the first half, as Clemson rode into halftime with a 30-27 advantage.
Momentum continued on into the second period.
Clemson used a 14-4 run over the first four minutes of the half, and extended the lead to 44-31.
"We got a bucket and just kind of got some momentum," Brownell said. "I think that's just the big thing. You get a couple of stops, you get a score, or two—you've got a lead already. So, now, you feel pretty good about how you're playing.
"Then, conversely, things change a little bit late in the game."
Clemson led by as many as 17 before Boston College went on a 12-0 run, which cut the lead to 59-54 with 4:48 left to play.
"They really stopped doing a lot of their offense. They just put their head down and attacked the rim," Brownell said.
But the Eagles were unable to cut the lead to less than five.
"This team is just really developing well," Young said. "We took care of the ball tonight…they tried to press us and tried to speed us up."
Saturday's opponent, North Carolina, will do the same thing. Tipoff for this weekend's game is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Strengthening the resume
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