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Tip Drill: Defense and Roper Fuel Clemson Win Over Boston College

In front of some of the most famous players in the history of Clemson basketball, Clemson defeated Boston College behind great team defense and rebounding as well as a fantastic shooting night from Jordan Roper. The win gave Clemson their third straight conference victory and moved them above .500 in league play.

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

1/31/2015 vs. Boston College

Result: W 64-49
CU Leading Scorer: Jordan Roper (24)
Key Stat: Clemson's 13 offensive rebounds helped lead to 10 more shot attempts than Boston College

  • Noon starts tend to be rough at the beginning of games, but both teams came out with energy on both ends of the floor. Clemson seemed to bring a bit more though, and put together an early 11-0 scoring run behind great shooting from Jordan Roper who again proved that he needs to remain in the starting line-up. Roper was on fire in the first half going 5-6 from the field and scoring 15 of Clemson's 27 points.

  • Clemson's fast start could also be attributed to great defensive play and the turnovers that they were able to produce early on. Clemson was very opportunistic in the first half as they forced BC into 9 first-half turnovers which led to 12 Clemson points.

  • Rod Hall was quiet in his scoring, but came up big with great defense on one of the ACC's best guards in Olivier Hanlan. With the help of great team defense, Hall held him to just 15 points in the game, and kept him from scoring till the 7:38 mark in the first half. Hall also had 6 assists and 0 turnovers.

  • Landry Nnoko got his starting job back and gave everyone the impression that he would continue to follow his pattern of staying in foul trouble throughout the game when he picked up a dumb foul right after a made basket, but was able to stay on the floor more than usual. He posted a decent line of 9 points and 9 rebounds which was an improvement over what we've been seeing from him lately. The Tigers will need Nnoko to have big games against the top-half of the ACC if they expect to snag some wins.

  • Clemson ended the 1st half very cold when BC switched to a 1-3-1 zone on defense. Clemson missed their last 7 shots and went 2-13 to close the half, but were able to keep Boston College from gaining too much ground and went into halftime with an 11 point lead at 27-16. Both teams combined for 4 total points in the final 5:21 to close the first half.

  • We have often talked of how Clemson has continued to struggle in the "Third quarter"of games, but this game produced a pleasant surprise of good basketball in the "Third quarter." Clemson was able to outscore BC 24-13 during this stretch behind great team basketball. Everyone got in on the action. Roper led the way with a few big 3's, but Nnoko had a big dunk on a great feed from Grantham who also hit an incredibly deep 3 during this period.

  • Clemson continued to try to work the ball inside to Nnoko some at the start of the first half. Even if they're not scoring in there, it's obvious that it's much better for the rhythm of the offense if they are able to work the ball inside and out without turning it over.

  • Jaron Blossomgame's huge follow-up dunk at the 14:31 mark which reminded plenty of Clemson fans of K.J. McDaniels, gave Clemson a 21-point lead and helped Clemson maintain the momentum throughout the rest of the "3rd quarter" of this game. Blossomgame was held scoreless in the first half mainly due to foul trouble, but really got it going in the second half with 16 points which helped Clemson finish off the win. He was 6-7 from the FT line and very efficient overall posting an Ortg of 132. Unlike the FSU game, he didn't force shots when they weren't coming his way, and eventually they did.

  • Jordan Roper finished with a career-high of 24 points shooting 8-11 from the field and 6-8 from 3. He had an amazing 164 Ortg.

  • Clemson actually shot worse than Boston College did in this game shooting 37% while BC shot 39%. Three factors played into the Clemson victory: Jordan Roper shooting 6-8 from 3, the Tigers forcing 13 turnovers that led to 16 points, and the Tigers getting 13 offensive rebounds. Those 13 offensive rebounds led to 10 more shots and opportunities to score the basketball.

  • Clemson winning their third straight game and moving to 5-4 in the ACC made this a big win. During this stretch in the heart of conference play, every win is a big win as they keep on marching towards a hopeful spot in post-season play. Clemson travels to Florida State Wednesday then to Miami next Sunday.
Editor's note: Caleb is new to our writing team so please welcome him to the STS community in the comments below.