ACC Tournament: Te-rrr-fic tourney opener for fourth-seeded Clemson
NEW YORK (AP) — Gabe DeVoe scored 25 points and Shelton Mitchell had 21 as No. 19 Clemson beat Boston College 90-82 on Thursday to advance to the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament semifinals for the first time since 2011.
The fourth-seeded Tigers (23-8) will face top-seeded and No. 1-ranked Virginia on Friday night.
The Eagles’ excellent backcourt of Jerome Robinson (20 points) and Ky Bowman (23 points) combined to shoot 10-for-32 from the field, a day after the pair scored 50 points to carry BC (19-15) to an upset of NC State.
Clemson, picked to finish 13th in the ACC in the preseason, instead is having its best season in seven years under coach Brad Brownell. In their first game of this tournament, the Tigers were energetic on the defensive end and on target with their shots.
Clemson made 9-of-17 from 3-point range in the first half and Bowman and Robinson combined for seven points. That the Eagles (19-15) were down only seven was remarkable, but it quickly turned into a 15-point lead for Clemson in the second half – thanks to DeVoe.
The senior converted a steal into a layup, hit a 3, found Marcquise Reed under the basket for a lay-in and then dropped in a mid-range jumper in the first four minutes of the second half to make it 52-37.
Robinson and Bowman finally got going and BC closed the gap to 63-61 on Bowman’s corner 3 with 5:46 left. That was as close as it got. Clemson righted itself behind Mitchell and DeVoe and beat Boston College for the seventh straight time.
Clemson (23-8) advances to Friday’s 7 p.m. semifinal game and will face the top-seeded and nationally top-ranked Virginia (29-2) … The Cavaliers defeated the Tigers 61-36 on Jan. 23 in Charlottesville during the regular season.