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Tigers tame Eagles

Dawson Powers-USA TODAY Sports

GREENVILLE, S.C. Clemson took on Boston College on Wednesday night in front of 8,101 fans at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. A strong defensive second half by Clemson helped claim its 65-54 victory. The Tigers moved to 16-10 overall and 9-5 in the ACC, while the Eagles fell to 7-19, 0-13 in the ACC.

"We had better defensive discipline heading into the second half. We found a way to win with our defense again, which is good to see," said head coach Brad Brownell.

Jaron Blossomgame once again led the Tiger attack with 23 points. However, the standout player of the night was Avry Holmes. He scored 17 points and held the Eagles' leading scorer, Eli Carter, to 1-17 shooting on the night. Carter came in averaging 16 points per game.

Clemson led 11-2 after the first four minutes of play and hit four of its first shots. However,  things didn't stay easy for the Tigers as the Eagles fought back to take the lead at 21-19 with 6:58 left in the first half. Boston College finished the first half shooting 47 percent and Clemson hit just a third of its shots. The Eagles hit six three-pointers in the first half, including two in the final two minutes, gaining a three-point lead heading into the half.

The Tigers took the lead with a 16-5 run over a six-minute stretch, punctuated by terrific three-point shooting. Back to back threes by Holmes and Blossomgame brought The Well to its feet and gave the Tigers their first double-digit lead of the game at 58-48 with 6:15 to play. From there, the Eagles struggled to score, accumulating just six points the rest of the way.

The Tigers take to the road for a pair of contests over the next six days. First up is NC State on Saturday at 3 p.m.The game will be televised by the ACC Network.

Postgame Notes

  • Clemson won its ninth ACC game Wednesday; it is only the FIFTH time in program history (in 63 ACC seasons) the Tigers have won at least nine of their first 14 ACC games.

  • The Tigers won their seventh ACC home game, most since the 2010-11 team that also won seven in Brad Brownell's first season.

  • Clemson has an opportunity to set a home ACC record win on March 1 against Virginia. The record of seven ACC home wins in a single season is shared by six teams.

  • The Tigers matched their win total from the entire 2014-15 season, notching their 16th victory Wednesday.

  • Jaron Blossomgame scored double figures for the 22nd time this season.

  • Blossomgame scored a game-high 23 points, his 12th game with at least 20 points this season. That puts him one shy of K.J. McDaniels' single-season mark of 13 from two years ago, when McDaniels was a first-team All-ACC player.

  • Avry Holmes reached double figures for the 14th time, finishing with 17 points. It was his

  • Holmes' defense was the key factor for the Tigers, as he held BC's leading scorer Eli Carter to just 1-17 field goals. It matched Carter's low field goal total this season and was his worst single-game shooting percentage.

  • Donte Grantham was 3-7 from three; it was the second time in Clemson's last three games the sophomore hit at least three long-range shots.

  • Grantham also scored double figures for the 14th time this season, and for the fourth time in Clemson's last five games overall.

  • Gabe DeVoe hit multiple three-point goals in a game for the first time since the Syracuse contest on January 5. DeVoe finished with six points and two steals in 18 minutes.

  • Jordan Roper had three assists to give him an even 100 on the season, his highest single-season total in four years as a Tiger.

Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownell

Opening statement:

"It was a hard fought game. Give Boston College a lot of credit, I thought they fought hard especially after being down nine, we struggled and they made shots. We gambled some early, committed some turnovers, went for some steals and it backfired. They would find the open man and were able to make some threes."

"I thought we just had better defensive discipline in the second half, especially Avry (Holmes) was by far the man of the match, he really defended at a high level. He has done that a lot this year, he really guarded hard and set the tone against Eli (Carter). I thought our five men really played well defending against ball screens and we were just good enough offensively. We made just enough threes at the end and probably took a few too many at the beginning. They changed their defense a bunch and that probably threw our rhythm off just a little. We adjusted better the longer the game went and we found a way to win with our defense again, which is encouraging."

On Clemson's defense against the three in the second half:

"I do like to think that our defense was pretty good. I think Avry (Holmes) was great, I don't think we gambled as much, we tried to just be solid and keep them in front, and contest shots. That team is getting better, they are improving and obviously they have played better here recently in some games. Dennis (Clifford) was good for them, Sammy (Barnes-Thompkins) is improving and had another good game, he had a good game at Virginia as well. We just had to stay with it and fortunately we did, I thought Avry again was big with some big shots and great defense."

On Donte (Grantham's) hustle:

"Yes, he did do some great things in the game. He hit a couple big threes, it was good to see him play with confidence like that and I thought his defense was pretty good. Tonight he guarded Matt (Milon) a bunch early, at 6-8 that is something we are trying to do, get him to be more active, be more involved.  I thought he was aggressive trying to rebound the ball, he had seven rebounds which is good, he was really active early trying to get some offensive rebounds for us. It was a good solid game for Donte."

Boston College Head Coach Jim Christian

Opening statement:

"I thought our kids gave a good effort. We ran into a little fatigue there. In the second half, I give them credit, I thought they upped the defensive intensity of the game. Brad's done an amazing job. I don't think he gets nearly enough credit for the way he prepares his team, for how physical they play and he deserves all the credit his team is getting."

"If you're going to beat a team like this on the road, then you have to make timely shots and you're going to have to keep scoring to beat them."

On Dennis Clifford's foul trouble:

"The whole dynamic of our team changes because not only does he do a great job defensively rebounding the ball but we run a lot of offense through Dennis. Idy (Diallo), who comes in after him, is not as proficient at it so it's tough for us, especially when Eli is not shooting the ball well. So it's a little difficult for us, it's why we have those stretches."

"I thought our bench played pretty well tonight though. Points came off the bench, a lot of guys, especially some of our young guys stepped up and had a good game. Our margin for error right now is so small, if we have a lull, it's hard to get back in."

Boston College's defensive gameplan:

"We were changing defenses a lot tonight. We would go from zone to man, we would play a couple different zones, just to keep them off balance. I think they're so well prepared, if you don't keep them off balance then they get in a good rhythm, especially when Blossomgame and Roper get it going."

Boston College's struggles from three in the second half:

"Same shots right? I thought they were open, they might have been more open than the first. I thought in the first half we hit a couple of tough ones. One-for-eight, you can't win on the road shooting like that."

On Bon Secours Wellness Arena:

"They got loud. You guys would know better than me but it looks like the city of Greenville has really come out and supported them. I see the billboards coming in and it's a nice city. We played the NCAA Tournament here when I was at Kent State."

"It's not easy doing what they're doing. I don't think people realize, what they're doing is not an easy travel day mid-week. You come in the middle of the day, miss a class, it's almost like playing a road game. So again I give Brad unbelievable amounts of credit and like I said, I honestly don't believe he gets nearly enough credit for the job he's done here."