Notebook: Akingbala Emerging as a Force

CHESNUT Hill, Mass. - A closer look at what went wrong and what went right against Boston College.

FINAL SCORE: Boston College 67, Clemson 61.

TURNING POINT: Clemson guard Cliff Hammonds misses three straight shots on two possessions in the final minute, while the Eagles score on their final five possessions.

CLUTCH PLAY: Tigers center Akin Akingbala has really flexed his muscle of late and has become more of an inside force than coach Oliver Purnell could have hoped for. He is more aggressive and physical than his predecessor Sharrod Ford and Saturday night was a perfect example as he tossed in a career-high 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Without his play in the second half against Boston College, the Tigers would have lost by a ton.

BONEHEAD PLAY: Trailing 46-38 with 10:25 left to play, Clemson forward Sam Perry committed the biggest sin of all when he fouled Boston College star Jared Dudley on a three-point attempt. The shot went in and he also sank the free throw to give the Eagles a quick 10-point lead. Three possessions later, the lead was up to 14.

HOLY COW: The Tigers made 14-of-18 free throws, committed only nine turnovers (the lowest ever under Purnell) and still lost thanks in large part to Sam Perry (0-for-2), Shawan Robinson (0-for-7), Troy Mathis (0-for-1), Hammonds (3-for-11), Vern Hamilton (2-for-7) and Julius Powell (1-for-4) combining to shoot 6-for-32 from the field (18.75 percent).

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Akingbala, who went 6-for-9 from the field and 9-of-11 from the free throw line and kept the Tigers close in the second half when nobody else could score.

POSTSEASON OUTLOOK: With NCAA Tournament hopes all but gone, the Tigers need to win at least three more games to ensure an NIT bid. With three of their five remaining games at home, it is definitely doable. It's not panic time yet in Tiger Town, but if that losing steak reaches seven, it will be.

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