Clemson hangs on to beat BC for ninth straight win
Clemson used a 16-0 run during a four-minute stretch in the first half and then held on in the second half to beat Boston College, 74-70, despite Jerome Robinson’s 26 second half points for the Eagles.
The Tigers, who have now won nine straight games, were led by Donte Grantham’s 23 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. The Tigers also got 17 points from guard Marcquise Reed and 16 points from center Elijah Thomas.
Gabe DeVoe added 10 points and had six rebounds.
Clemson’s nine straight wins tie last year’s mark of nine straight wins under head coach Brad Brownell, the longest in his career at Clemson. The Tigers are now 13-1 and 2-0 in the ACC. The 13-1 mark is Clemson’s best since the 2008-’09 season, which also happens to be the last time a Clemson basketball team started 2-0 in the ACC.
Leading 17-14 with 10:53 to play in the first half, Grantham made two free throws to get the Tigers’ 16-0 run started. Thomas then followed with an old-fashion three-point play, while DeVoe finished off a Grantham steal with a dunk.
After a couple Grantham free throws, Reed made a layup, while DeVoe followed with one of his own. Thomas then made a second old-fashion three-pointer to extend the lead to 33-14 with 6:15 to play in the opening half. The 19-point lead was the Tigers’ largest of the night.
Clemson led 38-23 at the break.
However in the second half, Robinson got hot. The guard connected on three straight three-pointers to start the second half and quickly cut into the Tigers’ lead.
Robinson, who scored a game-high 28 points, made his first six three-pointers in the second half and his seventh could have given the Eagles (10-5, 1-2 ACC) their first lead since a 2-0 lead with 18:43 to play in the first half.
However, Robinson attempt at a go-ahead three from the left wing with 33 seconds to play rimmed in and out and DeVoe grabbed the rebound and was fouled.
DeVoe calmly, in a one-and-one situation, made both free throws to put the Tigers up 72-68 with 21 seconds to play.
Reed had given the Tigers the lead with two made threes himself with 48 seconds left after Boston College’s Ky Bowman tied the game at 68-68 with two free throws with 1:02 left to play.
But Reed, DeVoe and Mitchell combined to go 6-for-6 from the foul line in the last 48 seconds to give the Tigers another road victory. Clemson is now 5-1 away from Littlejohn Coliseum this year.
The Tigers shot 42.9 percent from the field and were just 8-for-23 from behind the arc. However, they did make 18-of-20 free throws. The 90-percent average is the highest average by a Clemson basketball team ever in a true ACC road game.
Boston College shot 56.3 percent from the field in the second half while outscoring Clemson 47-36. The Eagles were 9-of-21 from three-point land. However, BC was just 5-of-6 from the charity stripe, which proved to be the difference in the game.
The Tigers return home on Saturday to play Louisville at noon.
–Photo Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports