It was Senior Day at Conte Forum, despite it not being their last home game of the season, and the Eagles were on a path to their third straight win. In their way stood Clemson who the Eagles knocked off earlier in conference play in a game that went down to the wire. Not to mention it was also a game were the Eagles tied an ACC comeback record where they fought their way out of a 23 point deficit to win by a single bucket.
In the first half, the Tigers jumped out to a quick 7-0 run before the Eagles clamped down on defense, produce some offense in the paint and went on an 8-0 run of their own forcing Clemson into a five minute drought.
It seemingly appeared to be a game of defenses as both sides struggled to put together some offensive momentum. It had the feeling of a pitcher’s duel. to steal a baseball analogy, as both sides seem to trade punches. Al-Amir Dawes seemed to be the main catalyst off the bench for the Tigers as he finished the half with 11 points. For the Eagles, Brevin Galloway did his thing from deep adding in two three pointers. James Karnik was playing as per usual leading the team overall in points with 10 and going perfect from the field.
Each each team went on little spurts with Clemson closing out the half on a quick 5-1 run to squeak their way into the lead going into the break leading by three. On the stats sheet, the Tigers were shooting slightly more efficiently at 42.9% from the field as opposed to BC’s 39.1%. Both teams also secured the ball well with the Eagles turning the ball over just 4 times to the Tigers’ 2. One surprising note was that Demarr was held to a goose egg and JZ with a lone three in points which they were certainly looking to change come the second.
The beginning of the second half spoke the same tale of the first as each team traded counter punches early. It was until around the 14 minute mark where Clemson was able to stall BC’s scoring production and produce a little run of their own. Chase Hunter led the Tigers on an 8-0 run scoring all 8 of those points. During the run, BC on the offensive end was executing their play calls correctly with Demarr and Galloway getting wide open looks from deep but they simply could not find the bottom of the net.
This trend continued for the next 6 minutes as Clemson went on a 21-4 run with BC missing shot after shot going for 0-12 during the Tigers’ run. Credit to Brad Brownell switching his team to a run a 3-2 defense as the Eagles clearly did not find a way to penetrate the zone. This was seemingly the tail for the remainder of the half with every surge by the Eagles countered by the Tigers.
Approaching the final four minutes, the Eagles put everything they had into full force. A nice coast-to-coast steal and layup for Galloway was the energy boost the Eagles needed late in the game. Following up on this, Demarr was able to grab a steal off of the inbound pass and finish with an easy layup to bring the Eagles deficit to only 6 with under two minutes to play. However, despite some sturdy defense, Demarr missed a much needed bunny layup after Galloway pick-pocketed a Clemson attacker that was quickly rebounded by the Tigers. The Eagles then played the long-game in forcing fouls as a last ditch effort to get back into the contest. Alas, this method proved futile and the Tigers were able to walk out of Conte with a win.
All-in-all the Eagles came out of the gates strong and kept things close in the first, but a rough offensive performance in the second-half forced the Eagles into a hole that they had quite a difficult time climbing out of. Chalk it up to missed open shots and being out-rebounded 40-30. Second chance opportunities for the Tigers certainly were certainly another tool to their success.
The Seniors for BC all ended in double figures in points: Galloway with 11, Makai 10 and Karnik with 17 who led all BC scorers. A tip of the cap to all of them as, despite a rocky season, all three of them have really given it their all this year, some even through injury, to finish their collegiate careers strong. Thank you again for your time here on the Heights!
The Eagles will actually have one more home game on Wednesday against Miami with tip-off scheduled for 9 EST.