When you never have a lead in a basketball game, or for that matter any sporting event to win said game or event is next to impossible. When you are forced to call timeout a minute and a half into a game, it becomes even more difficult to be the right side of the score. Such was the case for the Boston College Eagles on Saturday night. While it can be said that they ran into a very hot team in the Clemson Tigers (14-12, 8-8), Eagles head coach Jim Christian would tell you “we gave them some help.” Either way you look at it the Eagles had a rough night at home losing 82-64 to Clemson.
Clemson has owned BC (13-15, 7-10) over the years. They have won the last nine meetings between the two schools and ten of the last thirteen. Some things are hard to explain and Christian can not explain that. This game was over before the first two minutes had been played as the Tigers raced out to a 10-0 lead and never looked back. Back to back three-point shots from Al-Amir Dawes (22 points) and Amir Simms (12 points and 11 rebounds) set the tone for the night. Christian call time with 30 seconds gone in the game. After the game, he would say he would have called timeout thirty seconds into the game because of the lack of effort he was seeing from his team. The Eagles did trim Clemson”s lead to as little as four twice in the first half. The last time was on a Steffon Mitchell step back with 12:42 left in the half. At that point, it was 16-12 Clemson. The Tigers shot it back up to double-digits on a Curran Scott layup to make it 28-18 with six and a half to go. It never got better for the Eagles in the half or in the game. The Tigers just poured it on and Boston College did not have an answer. The only thing keeping BC alive, and barley at that, was the Tigers turning the ball over ten times in the first half. It did not matter, however, as their ability to make shots made up for their mistakes with the ball. At the break, the Tigers were up 41-29.
In the second half, Clemson showed no signs of slowing down. They were beating the Eagles on both ends of the court. They started the second half with another run of 10-0 on BC. Tevin Mack (11 points) had five points in this run on a three-point make and two free throws. The lead was now seventeen at 46-29 with 17:54 to play. It reached twenty-three on a layup by Clyde Trapp and would reach twenty-four when Mack knocked down a jumper to give the Tigers a 58-34 with 14:47 to go. John Newman III knocked down a jumper (11 points, 10 rebounds) and the lead was at twenty-six, 68-42 with nine minutes to go. The game was lost for the Eagles and the crowd headed to the exits. Though the game was lost, Christian did like the way his team played the last five minutes. He saw the effort that was not there from the opening tip. Nik Popovic had five on his way to a ten-point night. Derryck Thornton (10 points) started putting the ball in the basket as well. It was too little too late to save this one for BC as they lost 82-64.
After the game, Clemson’s head coach Brad Brownell talked about the good play of his team in the last ten days. He said his “defense was good” and “we did a good job of scoring tonight.” Shooting 68% from the field would tell you that given that coming into the game the Tigers were shooting just 42% for the year. The Tigers have now won three in a row and will be back on the road at Georgia Tech on Tuesday night. For Boston College, their next game is at home vs Notre Dame on Wednesday night. A team they defeated on the road back in December.