Tigers rebound with easy win over Eagles on Saturday


by - Senior Writer -
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CLEMSON – With a tough loss at Duke in the rear view mirror and a big game against North Carolina coming up on Wednesday, the Clemson Tigers needed to play well and come up with an easy win on Saturday against Boston College.

The 21st-ranked Tigers (13-3 overall, 1-1 ACC) did just that in cruising to a relatively easy 72-56 win over the Eagles (10-6, 1-1) at Littlejohn Coliseum, setting up an early-season showdown this coming Wednesday night against the ninth-ranked Tar Heels.

“I thought it was a nice bounce back game for us,” Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell said. “It was nice to get that first ACC win, because they are so tough to come by. I thought the guys did a good job of executing the game plan, which was to push the tempo and not let them get comfortable, and then do a good job on the backboards.”

Clemson point guard Demontez Stitt had 14 points in the first half as the Tigers took control almost from the beginning, taking their first lead at 6-4 on a Tanner Smith layup barely two minutes into the game.

A Stitt layup with 11 minutes remaining in the half gave Clemson its first double-digit lead, at 21-11, and Smith’s layup with five seconds remaining before the half gave the Tigers a 12-point cushion at intermission at 41-29.

The Tigers, who scored just 12 points in the first half in the loss at Duke last Sunday, rediscovered their shooting touch against the Eagles, hitting 17-of-29 shots in the half (58.6%).

“Demontez Stitt slicing and slashing to the basket in the first half was big for us,” Purnell said. “The entire team did a good job of touching the ball in paint, which is where we really hurt them, and not getting 3-point shot happy, and making sure we got the ball inside and then looking for the open shot outside when it was there.”

Smith hit a 3-pointer to begin the second half to put the Tigers up 15 at 44-29, and the Eagles would get no closer than 13 points the rest of the way.

The Eagles out-rebounded Clemson 21-17 in the first half, including six on the offensive end, but the Tigers responded strong in the second half with a 24-13 advantage on the glass, and Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell said that rebounding was all the Tigers talked about at halftime.

“That concerned me at halftime because we were not doing as good of a job as we needed to [on the glass],” Purnell said. As a team, you have to rebound well against BS. Against Boston College, you have to have all five guys on the boards because they are so close to the basket with the way they run their offense. It took us a half to realize that, but once we did, I thought we did a good job on the boards.”

Trevor Booker led the Tigers with 19 points, while Stitt finished with 14 and Smith 12 to round out the scorers in double digits. Booker also had four blocks and six rebounds, and said the win was big with the Tar Heels coming in next week.

“It is a big confidence booster,” Booker said. “We were probably a little down after the Duke game, so to come back and win pretty big against this team is a big confidence booster. They [North Carolina] have a lot of young players, but at the same time they are good players. We are going to have to rebound better, but we are looking forward to it.”

Boston College head coach Al Skinner said his club lost to the more aggressive team.

“I thought we did a good job with some things tonight, but we just didn’t complete it,” Skinner said. “We allowed them to be more aggressive. You have to make plays in the first half, and we didn’t deliver. On the road, you must handle all conditions and we didn’t do that. They played like this was very important to them.”

*Trevor Booker moved ahead of Tree Rollins on Clemson’s all-time scoring list, into 11th place, when he hit a layup with 6:52 remaining in the first half.

*The Eagles were not called for their first foul until the 12:55 mark of the first half, then went over five minutes before being called for their second foul. When the first half ended, however, Boston College had been called for seven fouls while Clemson was called for six.

*The Eagles entered the contest leading the ACC in rebounding differential at 9.8, but were out-rebounded 41-34.

*Noel Johnson scored seven points for the Tigers, and Purnell said he was pleased with the way Johnson has turned his defense around. “I told him after the game that I thought this was one of his better defensive efforts,” Purnell said. “He got some big rebounds, and you could tell he paid attention to the scouting report.” Johnson said he knows he has to play defense in order to gain more playing time. “When I first came here, Coach Purnell told me that to stay on the floor I had to play defense,” Johnson said. “I tried to get some steals and some defensive rebounds and just let me offense happen.”


VISITORS: Boston College 10-6, 1-1
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
11 Raji, Corey......... f  1-6    0-0    2-2    4  2  6   2   4  1  2  0  0  27
12 Trapani, Joe........ f  6-12   1-4    0-0    0  5  5   2  13  3  2  0  3  28
15 Sanders, Rakim...... f  4-14   0-5    1-1    0  4  4   3   9  0  4  1  1  32
00 Jackson, Reggie..... g  5-13   0-3    2-2    4  1  5   3  12  3  1  0  1  32
05 Paris, Biko......... g  2-6    1-2    2-2    0  1  1   2   7  1  4  0  2  35
21 Roche, Tyler........    1-3    0-2    1-2    0  3  3   1   3  1  1  0  0  15
24 Ravenel, Evan.......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   2   0  0  0  0  0   2
30 Elmore, Dallas......    0-1    0-0    0-2    0  1  1   0   0  0  0  0  1   3
52 Southern, Josh......    2-5    0-0    0-0    3  3  6   4   4  0  0  0  1  11
55 Dunn, Cortney.......    2-2    0-0    0-0    1  1  2   2   4  0  0  0  0  15
   TEAM................                            1  1
   Totals..............   23-62   2-16   8-11  12 22 34  21  56  9 14  1  9 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-35 34.3%   2nd Half: 11-27 40.7%   Game: 37.1%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  1-9  11.1%   2nd Half:  1-7  14.3%   Game: 12.5%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  4-4  100 %   2nd Half:  4-7  57.1%   Game: 72.7%   2,1


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: Clemson 13-3, 1-1
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
15 Potter, David....... f  0-5    0-2    0-1    0  6  6   2   0  2  1  1  1  16
35 Booker, Trevor...... f  8-14   0-0    3-6    3  2  5   1  19  2  1  4  2  29
45 Grant, Jerai........ c  3-4    0-0    3-5    2  2  4   3   9  1  1  1  0  16
02 Stitt, Demontez..... g  5-8    2-2    3-4    0  2  2   0  15  4  3  0  1  27
05 Smith, Tanner....... g  5-9    1-2    1-2    4  0  4   2  12  1  1  0  0  27
01 Johnson, Noel.......    2-4    1-2    2-3    0  4  4   2   7  1  3  1  3  23
03 Anderson, Zavier....    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  1  0  0   2
10 Baciu, Catalin......    0-1    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   0   0  0  0  0  0   1
11 Young, Andre........    1-6    1-4    2-2    1  4  5   1   5  2  0  0  1  25
21 Narcisse, Bryan.....    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   2
24 Jennings, Milton....    1-4    0-2    2-2    0  1  1   1   4  0  0  1  0  15
31 Booker, Devin.......    0-1    0-0    0-0    3  5  8   2   0  1  2  0  0  15
32 Hill, Donte.........    0-0    0-0    1-2    0  0  0   0   1  0  0  0  0   2
   TEAM................                            1  1
   Totals..............   25-56   5-14  17-27  13 28 41  14  72 14 13  8  8 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 17-29 58.6%   2nd Half:  8-27 29.6%   Game: 44.6%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  4-7  57.1%   2nd Half:  1-7  14.3%   Game: 35.7%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  3-7  42.9%   2nd Half: 14-20 70.0%   Game: 63.0%    5


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Officials: Roger Ayers, Gary Maxwell, Ted Valentine
Technical fouls: Boston College-None. Clemson-None.
Attendance: 10000
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Boston College................   29   27  -   56
Clemson.......................   41   31  -   72

Points in the paint-BC 36,CU 38. Points off turnovers-BC 9,CU 20.
2nd chance points-BC 12,CU 10. Fast break points-BC 8,CU 4.
Bench points-BC 11,CU 17. Score tied-2 times. Lead changed-1 time.
Last FG-BC 2nd-01:03, CU 2nd-08:25.
Largest lead-BC by 2 1st-19:20, CU by 21 2nd-03:45.

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