A Three Wins in Brooklyn: Tigers advance to ACC semifinals with win over BC
|Thursday, March 8, 2018, 4:41 PM- -|
Bring on Virginia.
Clemson hit a school ACC Tournament record 12 3-pointers and Gabe DeVoe scored 25 points in defeating Boston College 90-82 Thursday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Shelton Mitchell added 21 points and Marcquise Reed chipped in 12. Aamir Sims was the other Tiger in double figures with 10. Elijah Thomas had a game-high 12 rebounds. Clemson hit 14 of its last 16 free throws in the final four minutes to secure the win. Overall, the Tigers 12-of-28 from beyond the arc and committed just seven turnovers.
Clemson advances to Friday’s semifinals, where they will take on top-seeded Virginia at 7 p.m. Virginia defeated Clemson 61-36 in late January. The Cavaliers defeated Louisville 75-58 earlier Wednesday to advance.
Boston College was led by Ky Bowman’s 23 points. Jerome Robinson added 20.
Clemson improved to 23-8 with the win while Boston College fell to 19-15. Head coach Brad Brownell is now 9-3 against Boston College in his career. Clemson is 3-0 all-time against the Eagles in the ACC Tournament with meetings in 2008 and 2011 before Thursday’s contest.
In 64 previous ACC Tournaments, the Tigers have been one-and-done 47 times and are 20-64 all-time in tournament games. Clemson has advanced to the championship game of the ACC Tournament only twice – in 1962 when a 10-14 team upset N.C. State and No. 8 Duke before losing to Wake Forest, and again in 2008 when an unranked 22-8 team defeated Boston College and No. 7 Duke before losing to No. 1 North Carolina 86-81.
"Okay, just a really good win by our guys. I thought we -- obviously we shot it well," Brownell said. "These guys played great. I thought we showed pretty good poise. We actually didn't get off to a great start in the game, but I liked the way we were playing. Even though we missed some shots early, we got down maybe it was 7-0. I told our guys I liked our rhythm, I liked what we were doing, let's just stick with it. I thought we hung in there defensively and did about as good a job as you can do on Robinson and Bowman. They're just playing terrific basketball. Jimmy has done an unbelievable job with their team. They're in a really good position with how they're doing things. You could just tell the confidence that they were playing with today, that they were going to come back on us and make a fight.
"I thought our guys did a lot of good things down the stretch handling some press, they mixed up some zones against us, 1-3-1 and 3-2. We did a good job of executing against a lot of different defenses, and we made our free throws down the stretch."
The Eagles, playing for the third day in a row, got off to a hot start in opening up a 7-0 lead on the Tigers. Clemson missed several shots early, but Aamir Sims got the Tigers in the scoring column with a 3-pointer that made it 7-3. Another BC 3-pointer pushed the Eagle to 12-3, but the Tigers went on a 23-5 run over the next six minutes.
The run started with a short jumper by Shelton Mitchell and a 3-pointer by Mark Donnal gave the Tigers their first lead at 18-16 at the 11:50 mark. A 3-pointer by DeVoe at the 9:50 mark pushed Clemson’s advantage to 26-17. Another DeVoe 3-pointer gave Clemson its biggest lead of the half at 36-22 with just over minutes remaining, but the Eagles began to chip away and the Tigers led 43-36 at intermission.
The Tigers came out of the locker room on fire. DeVoe hit a layup and followed that with a 3-pointer that made it 48-36, prompting a Boston College timeout. However, Reed hit a layup before the Eagles could score and Clemson pushed its advantage to 50-36.
A jumper by Reed at the 11:36 mark allowed Clemson to take a 57-42 lead, but the Eagles began to find their range at that point. A 3-pointer by Robinson brought the Eagles back within single digits at 59-50 with 9:50 to play, prompting a Brownell timeout. Another jumper by Reed made it 61-50, but Robinson hit another three with 7:47 left on the clock that made it 61-53. Following another timeout, Boston College hit two free throws and Clemson’s lead was just six at 61-55.
Following a missed 3-pointer by DeVoe, Robinson hit a 3-pointer and it was 61-58 with six minutes to play.
Eli Thomas hit two free rows to break up the Boston College run, and AJ Oliver hit a 3-pointer from the corner that made it 68-62 with 4:25 to play. Following an Eagle layup that made it 68-64, Mitchell hit two free throws for a 70-64 lead, and a Mitchell steal led to a Thomas dunk on the other end that made it 72-64. The Eagles were called for an offensive foul on the ensuing possession and Mitchell blew by the Eagle defenders for a layup that made it 74-64 with just over two minutes to play.
Two Eagle free throws made it 74-66, but the Tigers broke the press and got a layup on the other end for a 76-66 lead. The Eagles hit one free throw on the next possession, but Sims hit two free foul shots for a 78-67 lead with 97 seconds to play. The Tigers hit enough free throws down the stretch to keep Boston College at bay.
DeVoe said the Tigers have responded to adversity all season, and did so again after the late Boston College run.
"I feel like just we've done all season, just staying composed when those situations happen," DeVoe said. "The game got close, and we made a couple big plays on the offensive end and were able to get stops defensively, were rebounding the ball well, so it just helped out down the stretch."
Brownell said the Tigers will have to play better Friday against Virginia's tough defense.
"They just do everything really well. They're unbelievably sound. Tony obviously is as good a coach as there is in our game," Brownell said. "I think sometimes Virginia, because they play slow on offense, they don't get enough credit for how good their players are. I think sometimes everybody gets so into their scheme, but you don't win 17 out of 18 ACC games unless you have really good players. And they're big, they're athletic, and they're obviously very sound fundamentally. So they just do a lot of really good things. They're difficult to play against.
"You know, the first time we did play them was the first game we played without Donte Grantham, so hopefully we're playing a little better than a two- or one-day prep for Virginia at Virginia without one of our best players."
"Like something out of a movie, ya know? ...Feels like it was scripted."— Clemson Men's Basketball (@ClemsonMBB) March 8, 2018
Quiet on the set...
?? Annnnnd, action... pic.twitter.com/8IHxMJxReX