With his team’s hopes of making an NCAA Tournament at stake, Clemson senior Marcquise Reed put his teammates on his back and took over Saturday’s game against Boston College.
Reed scored a career-high 31 points, including nine during a key 10-0 run late in the second half as the Tigers downed Boston College, 76-66, at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson.
“Marcquise was terrific,” Clemson head coach Brad Brownell said afterward.
Reed was terrific. The senior also had nine rebounds and four assists and was 11 of 21 from the field, including 5 of 7 from behind the arc. Elijah Thomas added 14 points and had 10 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season.
Shelton Mitchell dropped in 13 points, while Aamir Simms scored 10 points after going 4 for 7 from the field.
With the win, the Tigers (16-11, 6-8 ACC) snapped a three-game losing streak and kept their NCAA Tournament hopes alive as well.
“It was a good win for our team today,” Brownell said. “I thought we played exceptionally well on offense. We really had good efficiency, good numbers and did the things we wanted to do to be successful.
“There was a good mix of threes and paint touches. We handled the zone (defense) and man (defense) and did some good things that way.”
Clemson shot 51.9 percent from the field, the first time it shot over 50-percent from the field in six games. The Tigers were 41.7 percent (8-17) from behind the arc, their best performance since making 51 percent against Pitt on Jan. 29.
After trailing by six points early in the second half, the Tigers rallied to grab an eight-point lead when Mitchell found David Skara down the lane for an easy two points. Clemson led 60-52 with 7:14 to play in the game after the Skara layup.
The Eagles (13-13, 4-10 ACC) rallied to tie the game at 60 when Jared Hamilton made two free throws with 4:15 to play to cap an 8-0 run.
That is when Reed took over the game. The senior made two free throws and after a Thomas foul shot, he pulled up from the left elbow and drained a 15-footer to extend Clemson’s lead to 65-60. He then followed with a corner three, giving the Tigers a 68-60 lead with 1:57 to play in the game.
Reed then added two free throws after his three-pointer to extend the lead to 70-60 with 1:43 to play, all but sealing the Tigers’ win.
“We have been in that situation a lot as a group,” Reed said. “A lot of those games came down the stretch and, as you have seen, we have had it early in ACC play. We have been in those situations before so when we know when it is time to score and when it is time to slow down.”
Clemson led by as many as eight points in the first half, 28-20, after Thomas made layup in the paint with 4:31 to play in the half.
Reed scored 17 of his 31 points in the opening half as the Tiger led 33-29 at halftime.
Clemson will play at Pittsburgh on Wednesday. The game is set to tip at 7 p.m.