Tigers shot 68.9 percent from the field, fifth best overall and best ever in a true road game
Clemson had one its best shooting nights in school history Saturday, as the Tigers easily handled Boston College, 82-64, at the Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
The Tigers shot 68.9 percent from the field, the fifth best shooting percentage in school history. It was the program’s best shooting night since Brad Brownell’s 2011 team shot 69.2 percent from the floor at home against Georgia Tech.
It was also Clemson’s best ever shooting performance in a true-road game. The prior best was at Virginia on February 21, 1984.
“We really executed what we wanted to do on both ends,” Brownell said after the game on the Clemson Tigers Radio Network. “Except for the turnovers, I thought we played about as well as we could play. This was outstanding basketball and was fun to watch.”
Clemson was led by Al-Amir Dawes, who had a career-high 22 points against the Eagles. The win was Clemson’s third straight and allowed it to move into a tie for fifth place with Syracuse and NC State in the ACC standings.
The Tigers (14-12, 8-8 ACC) also got 12 points and 11 rebounds from Aamir Simms. It was his fourth double-double of the season. John Newman also had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Hunter Tyson came off the bench to score 11 points. They also got 11 points from Tevin Mack.
With the win Clemson improved to 12-0 this year when scoring at least 70 points.
“I hope we can continue it,” Brownell said. “Obviously, I don’t know if we can play at that level, but there is some confidence in seeing the ball go in a little bit more. It has gone in here a few more times recently. Now, it is just about going to try and finish this [season] the best we can.
“We have a bunch of tough games. We have a couple of road games ahead of us, but I am super proud of the way our guys have bounced back these last two weeks. We are really focused, been driven and determined and I just think we have played some of our best basketball here.”
Besides the Tigers’ record shooting night, the story centered around Dawes. The freshman scored 13 of his 22 points in the first half. He opened the game by hitting a three-pointer, as Clemson scored the game’s first 10 points and never looked back.
Dawes opened the second half the same way as the first, knocking down a three at the 19:23 mark. The Tigers went on an 11-2 run to all but end the game. That gave the Tigers a 52-31 lead with 17:04 to go. That came on a Dawes’ three as well.
“He is not afraid to make plays and take shots,” Brownell said. “His next step, and some of his turnovers are really bad and there is no other way to say it. For your point guard to make some of those it is frustrating and it has hurt us in a couple of games.
“But for him to make six threes on the road. For him to play the way he did at Pitt, those were two very high level performances for a young player. That is what you get with him. He is a guy that thinks he is going to make every shot. He is aggressive. When he makes one, he is one of those guys that can make three or four.”
Dawes finished the game 6-for-10 from three-point range and 8-of-12 overall. The Tigers finished the night 12-of-23 from behind the arc as a team.
The Tigers led 41-29 at the break. Simms’ completed their dominating first half with a putback dunk on a Dawes’ three just before time expired.
“We had great practices leading up to this, and we had a great shootaround this morning,” Brownell said. “Our guys came in with good energy and poise, and that made a difference. The ball going in the basket like it was for us tonight always makes a huge impact. The guys made halftime adjustments, and I wish we could always play like we played those first five minutes of the second half.”
Clemson led by as many as 26 points, a 68-42 lead with 9:05 to play following a step-back jumper by Newman.
The Tigers will stay on the road as they play at Georgia Tech on Tuesday. Tip is scheduled for 9 p.m. and will be televised by the ACC Network.