Tigers improve to 6-4 with solid win over Boston College


by - Senior Writer -
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Demontez Stitt had 16 points to help hold off a late Eagle rally.

CLEMSON – The Clemson Tiger basketball team enters the stretch run needing to play its best basketball of the season if they hope to reach the NCAA Tournament.

Tuesday night was a step in the right direction, according to head coach Brad Brownell.

Playing perhaps the team’s best game of the season, the Tigers got 17 points from Jerai Grant and Demontez Stitt scored 16 as Clemson held off a late rally by Boston College for a 77-69 victory in Littlejohn Coliseum Tuesday night.

“We played our best game of the year,” Brownell said of the win, which improved the Tigers to 17-7 overall and 6-4 in the ACC. “We played a good opponent that was playing really well. I am pleased with the way our guys approached this. There were not too many bad spots. For the most part, we played pretty good basketball tonight.”

The Tigers started the second half off strong and looked poised to turn the game into a rout when Stitt hit a 3-pointer to make it 59-42 with 8:22 remaining in the game.

The Eagles (15-9, 5-5) refused to go away and put together a 12-0 run. Biko Paris hit a 3-pointer to trim the Clemson advantage to just 59-54 with less than five minutes left.

But Tanner Smith had an uncontested layup and Andre Young followed with a short jumper to put the Tigers back in control.

“This was a really good basketball game,” Brownell said. “I thought the two teams executed very well. Sometimes you turn on the television, and the games are not worth watching. This one was, with the kids from both teams making plays. I thought our guys played outstanding defense in the first half, and I thought we really made them [the Eagles] work.

“We were unselfish and we moved the ball. Every guy that came in contributed. Everybody on our team did something well. That is a good basketball team. We put pressure on them and they only turned it over 10 times. They don’t make a lot of mistakes. They have high-level players. But it was great discipline by our guys.”

Reggie Jackson finished with 27 points and Joe Trapani added 22 for the Eagles, who fell to 0-5 all-time at Littlejohn Coliseum.

Young had 15 points and Smith 11 for Clemson, which moved to 13-1 overall and 5-0 in ACC play at home this season. Stitt and Young combined for 26 of their 31 points after halftime.

The Tigers opened the contest with a 10-3 run, but the Eagles answered that with a 17-5 run of their own, led by two Corey Raji 3-pointers, and the Eagles led 20-15.

The Tigers again went cold from the field – a concern in recent games – with just one field goal over a nine minute period.


But Young, who didn’t start because he was late for a team walk-thru, hit a 3-pointer at the 2:13 mark that regained the lead for Clemson at 26-24.

A minute later, Young got a steal on the baseline, dribbled around his back and pushed the ball to Smith for a dunk. The Tigers then closed the half as Grant, setting a screen for Young at the top of the key, broke toward the basket and took the pass from Young for an easy dunk that put Clemson up 30-27 at the break.

The Tigers then opened the second half with a 20-5 run before Boston College made its last surge.

Stitt said the team took a cue from the late-night crowd.

“We were feeding off the energy of the crowd,” he said. “We sort of let down in the second half. I think our first half intensity was a lot better than our second half intensity. They run an offense where if they don’t shoot in the first ten seconds of the shot clock then you are going to be playing defense the entire shot clock. I thought we did a pretty good job in the first half of guys paying attention to detail, not getting beat on backdoor cuts, and sticking to the game plan.”

Stitt said the Tigers understood the importance of the game.

“It was important for us, first of all, to get a win at home and keep the crowd in it,” he said. “Second, for the ACC standings. I know we were tied with Boston College, and there are a lot of teams right there in the mix. It was important for us to get this win tonight and for us to get the win on Saturday. It will separate us a little bit and put us up toward the top of the conference.”

The Tigers return to action on Saturday when they host North Carolina at 1 p.m. in Littlejohn, and Smith said the Tigers will be ready to play.

“It’s going to be a big game Saturday,” Smith said. “I don’t think we did a good job defensively the last time we played North Carolina. So, we are really going to take pride in stopping what they do and make them make tough jump shots.”

Brownell said he hopes the fans respond on Saturday the way they did late Tuesday night.

“I was really excited tonight that with ten seconds left on the shot clock, on several occasions, our fans stood up and cheered,” he said. “It shows that they saw a good team playing and how hard it was for us to guard them, and they appreciated the effort that our guys were giving. They understand what we’re trying to do here with establishing a defensive mentality in this program. That really meant a lot to me, and it meant a lot to our players too.”





VISITORS: Boston College 15-9, 5-5
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
12 Trapani, Joe........ f  7-14   3-6    5-5    4  4  8   4  22  2  1  1  0  38
52 Southern, Josh...... c  1-4    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   3   2  0  1  0  0  12
00 Jackson, Reggie..... g 10-20   3-9    4-5    1  6  7   3  27  4  1  0  1  35
05 Paris, Biko......... g  1-9    1-8    0-0    4  1  5   2   3  4  1  0  3  33
31 Rubin, Danny........ g  0-1    0-1    0-0    0  1  1   0   0  0  1  0  0   8
04 Moton, Gabriel......    1-3    0-1    3-4    3  2  5   3   5  0  2  0  0  24
11 Raji, Corey.........    3-9    2-5    0-0    2  4  6   1   8  2  1  0  0  28
30 Elmore, Dallas......    0-0    0-0    2-2    1  2  3   2   2  1  2  1  0  21
55 Dunn, Cortney.......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   1   0  0  0  0  0   1
   TEAM................                            1  1
   Totals..............   23-60   9-30  14-16  15 21 36  19  69 13 10  2  4 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half:  9-29 31.0%   2nd Half: 14-31 45.2%   Game: 38.3%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  4-14 28.6%   2nd Half:  5-16 31.3%   Game: 30.0%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  5-6  83.3%   2nd Half:  9-10 90.0%   Game: 87.5%    2


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HOME TEAM: Clemson 17-7, 6-4
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
05 Smith, Tanner....... f  4-10   1-4    2-3    1  3  4   2  11  1  2  0  1  25
31 Booker, Devin....... f  2-6    0-2    1-2    0  6  6   3   5  2  2  0  1  26
45 Grant, Jerai........ c  7-9    0-0    3-3    2  3  5   1  17  1  0  3  1  27
02 Stitt, Demontez..... g  5-9    1-3    5-5    1  4  5   3  16  4  0  2  1  36
03 Anderson, Zavier.... g  0-0    0-0    0-0    0  2  2   2   0  2  1  0  0   8
11 Young, Andre........    4-8    3-6    4-4    0  2  2   2  15  5  2  0  2  32
12 Stanton, Cory.......    2-4    0-1    0-0    0  1  1   3   4  1  0  0  1   9
21 Narcisse, Bryan.....    1-1    1-1    1-4    1  0  1   2   4  0  0  1  0  16
24 Jennings, Milton....    2-4    0-1    1-2    0  1  1   0   5  0  0  0  0  21
   TEAM................                         2     2
   Totals..............   27-51   6-18  17-23   7 22 29  18  77 16  7  6  7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-27 44.4%   2nd Half: 15-24 62.5%   Game: 52.9%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  2-10 20.0%   2nd Half:  4-8  50.0%   Game: 33.3%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  4-6  66.7%   2nd Half: 13-17 76.5%   Game: 73.9%    2


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Officials: Mike Eades, Ray Natili, Patrick Adams
Technical fouls: Boston College-None. Clemson-None.
Attendance: 8925
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Boston College................   27   42  -   69
Clemson.......................   30   47  -   77

Points in the paint-BC 26,CU 34. Points off turnovers-BC 5,CU 15.
2nd chance points-BC 13,CU 7. Fast break points-BC 0,CU 8.
Bench points-BC 15,CU 28. Score tied-0 times. Lead changed-2 times.
Last FG-BC 2nd-00:35, CU 2nd-01:16.
Largest lead-BC by 5 1st-06:40, CU by 17 2nd-08:26.

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