Clemson hoops goes cold in loss to Boston College

Clemson hoops goes cold in loss to Boston College


Clemson hoops goes cold in loss to Boston College


Clemson’s men’s basketball team had a hard time finding its stroke. The Tigers found it equally as difficult to hold onto the ball.

As a result, Clemson couldn’t avoid a bad loss two games in a row.

Boston College entered Tuesday’s game having lost six of its last nine games, which had the Eagles (11-12, 5-7 ACC) near the bottom of the ACC standings and their NET ranking sitting at 194. But No. 20 Clemson (18-5, 10-2) had its worst shooting performance of the season and coughed up possession after possession in a 62-54 loss at Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.

Hunter Tyson had a team-high 22 points to go with eight rebounds while Chase Hunter added 12 points, but they were the only Tigers to reach double figures on a night in which Clemson shot just 30.8% from the floor. The Tigers also committed 17 turnovers compared to just four assists. 

“We didn’t take Boston College lightly,” Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. “We weren’t not ready to play. We just didn’t play well.”

Clemson missed 17 straight shots at one point in the second half, but a 16-for-16 night from the free-throw line helped the Tigers stay close. A pair of freebies from PJ Hall got Clemson within a possession at 52-49 with 1 minute, 35 seconds left. But unlike three days earlier in its one-point win at Florida State, there were no heroics for Clemson this time around as Boston College scored the next six points to create the final separation.

Makai Ashton-Langford led the Eagles with 15 points while Jaeden Zackery scored 13 for Boston College, which put a Quad 3 loss on Clemson’s postseason resume. Meanwhile, the Tigers’ lead on Virginia atop the ACC standings shrank to half a game heading into their home game Saturday against Miami.

Junior guard Alex Hemenway saw his first game action since Dec. 17, but Clemson’s top 3-point shooter attempted just one shot and didn’t score in 15 minutes. Hall finished with just nine points on 3 of 12 shooting, and the Tigers shot just 28.6% from 3-point range (6 of 21) en route to their second-lowest point of the season.

Hunter was responsible for five turnovers, combining with Hall (3) and forward Ian Schieffelin (4) for 12 of the Tigers’ giveaways.

“We had a couple of kids just fumbling balls,” Brownell said. “In the first half, it was almost scratch your head on some things, like, ‘What are we doing? I don’t understand.’ We’ve had a couple of games where we’ve gotten a little loose with it, but their defense wasn’t crazy more aggressive than anybody else.”

Similar to its game at FSU, Clemson trailed at the break after a hot start. The Tigers led 19-8 with 10:02 left in the opening half with the help of eight first-half points from Tyson, but Clemson committed 11 of its turnovers in the opening 20 minutes as Boston College ended the half on a 22-4 run for a 30-23 halftime lead.

Clemson missed 14 of 16 shots late in the first half and into the second, scoring just 13 points in more than 15 minutes of game time. That led to the Eagles opening up their largest lead at 39-27 early in the second half, a double-digit lead they still maintained with 15:10 remaining.

The Tigers held Boston College to 34% shooting in the second half to help themselves chip away and make things interesting late. But the offense was ultimately too cold and sloppy, sending Clemson to just its second loss in its last 12 games.

“For whatever reason, we just kind of panicked tonight,” Brownell said. “I didn’t do a good job as a coach. I couldn’t get my guys under control and couldn’t get them to relax. And that’s my fault.”

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