It was senior night at Conte Forum and during a pregame ceremony BC Seniors Derryck Thornton, Nik Popovic, Jared Hamilton, Matt DiLuccio and two team managers were honored. DiLuccio was further honored by making his first career start for the Eagles with some fans wearing shirts with “Matty Ice” and a baby picture of DiLuccio on the front.
It was a less than ceremonious start however when Clemson started out the game with an 10-0 run. It wasn’t until the 16:52 mark that BC got its first bucket via a Jared Hamilton three. At the end of the half BC was only shooting 37% from the field and 25% from three. Clemson however, never cooled off from their fast start. The Tigers shot a blistering 70% from the field and 50% from three and had two players with double digit point totals before the first half ended. The paint seemed to belong to the Tigers as well, as they outscored BC 18 to 14. The Eagles had chances to close the gap with some great steals that set them up with promising transition opportunities but just weren’t able to turn them into points. The Eagles managed just 10 points off of 10 Clemson turnovers. The Eagles were able to pull within single digits on several occasions but Clemson always seemed to hit a three or go on a run right as the Eagles were getting close. The Eagles went into the locker room down 29 to 41, with Jay Heath leading the team with 8 points, while Al-Amir Dawes led both team with 13.
Clemson started the half exactly as they started the first with an 8-0 run. In fact much of the second was just a continuation of the first half with Clemson seeming to hit everything and BC struggling to keep it close despite the Tigers building their lead to as much as 26 points at the 7:12 mark in the second half. At one point in the half BC went just over 3 minutes without scoring a basket. The Eagles had some good looking possession and the switch to the full court press produced some more turnovers, however they were never able to put together an offensive run to match the Tigers super-heated shooting. Clemson finished the game shooting 69% from the field and hit 7 of their last 9 shots even once they put the scrubs in. Clemson continued to dominate the paint to out-scoring BC 32 to 26, and out-rebounding them 32 to 25. Al-Amir Dawes finished the game with 22 points leading all scorers while Jay Heath led the way for the Eagles with 16 points.
The Eagles were never able to bounce back from their slow starts in either half. As per usual the team could never consistently string together baskets. The Eagles finished the game only shooting 38% from the field and 27% from three. BC was able to force 20 turnovers including 12 steals but the 26 points they were able to score off those turnovers just wasn’t enough to keep the game close. Yet its hard to fight back in any game when your opponent is shooting almost 70%, including hitting over half of their threes.
The Eagles next game comes at home as they welcome the fair-weather Catholics...I mean the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.