Tigers Rebound in a Big Way

No. 12 Clemson (20-3, 6-3) rallies from an early second half deficit to turn back Boston College (18-8, 6-5) Tuesday night at the Conte Forum, 87-77.

After a roller coaster week that saw Clemson destroy No. 3 Duke and lose to Florida State at home after blowing a 19-point lead, the Tigers may be finally back on solid ground.

Using the hot-shooting and solid passing of Terrence Oglesby not to mention strong post play from Trevor Booker down the stretch, the Tigers rallied past Boston College to win their 20th game of the season.

The Tigers also cleaned up on the glass, outrebounding B.C. 38-35.

"Winning a game coming out of Saturday is impressive and doing it on the road is even more so," head coach Oliver Purnell said afterwards. "We talked long and hard about two things - keeping them off the glass and more effort and more effort.

"We shot the ball well from deep but we had great balance of getting the ball inside. Sykes as all over the place in the second half and we did a much better job with second-chance points."

It was Clemson's first win ever at Conte Forum, and it was anything but easy.

Tyrese Rice, proving once again why he's one of the top guards in the ACC, almost single handily brought the Eagles back from a 10-point deficit with a series of acrobatic drives.

He ended the game with 17 points.

And Rakim Sanders, who was playing with an injured wrist, scored 23, paced the Eagles in the first half as Boston College jumped out to a 39-35 halftime advantage.

But Clemson was not to be denied.

With the scored tied at 57 with 12:24 remaining, the Tigers used an 14-4 run to build a working margin before the Eagles made things close again down the stretch. Oglesby connected on a three-pointer from the top of the key while being fouled to convert the rare four-point play during the streak to allow Clemson to create separation.

Ray Sykes scored 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds in Clemson's 87-77 win over Boston College Tuesday night at Conte Forum. (AP)
And even though the Tigers' trademark full-court pressure was ineffective in the first half,like many games this year, eventually it took its toll.

"You got to remember they [B.C.] played on Sunday and it's now Tuesday," Purnell said. "So it's a cumulative effect and that's one of the reasons they probably missed some shots late."

The Eagles would rally, finally cutting Clemson's lead to 75-71 with 5:54 left to play. But Trevor Booker scored four quick points, including two on a brilliant give-and-go from Oglesby with the shot clock running down and another on what is quickly becoming his favorite post move- the fade away jumper.

Boston College would pull within six on three more occasions, but would never draw closer.

Oglesby made his sixth three pointer of the game with 1:22 left to turn a six point lead into nine and that was essentially the ball game.

Clemson shot 18-of-36 from the field in the second half, on its way to scoring 52 points in the win. All five starters scored in double figures as well, marking the first time that has happened all season for the 12th-ranked Tigers.

Booker and Oglesby led Clemson in scoring with 21 points. Booker also had a game-high 13 rebounds.

"The first half they murdered us on the glass," Booker said. "But we came back in the second half after a slow start and started picking it up. Coach told us if we brought better effort we would win, and we did."

Oglesby rebounded after a disappointing performance in Saturday's upset loss to Florida State by connecting on 6-of-10 three pointers, including three from 25 feet or further.

He also had a career-high six assists and even had a dunk with time winding down.

Clemson returns to action Sunday afternoon against Virginia, who has now lost eight games in a row.

Tip-off in Charlottesville is set for 1:00 PM.

NOTES: Rivers is now Clemson's all-time leader in three-point field goals made after making three from behind the arc in the first half. ... Boston College's Tyrese Rice fouled out with less than two minutes to play, marking the first time in his four-year career that has happened. ... Clemson has now won 20 games three years in a row for the first time in school history. ... Oglesby had a career-high six assists. ... With the win, the Tigers have now won five conference games by double digits. The all-time school record is six double-digit ACC wins.

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