Jan. 12, 2012
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Freshman Dennis Clifford led all scorers with 15 points as Boston College held on to defeat Clemson, 59-57, Thursday night in front of 3,829 fans at Conte Forum.
Clifford went 5-for-8 from the floor and brought down seven rebounds. Freshman Lonnie Jackson scored 14 points and went 4-for-8 from the field. Junior Matt Humphrey and freshman Jordan Daniels both had nine points.
The Tigers held a 28-26 halftime lead and increased their advantage early into the second half, 39-32, which was the largest margin of the game. BC responded with a 16-4 run over a 5:32 span to take a 48-43 lead with 10:29 left. Jackson was integral in the run, hitting consecutive threes and then converting on a three-point play to score nine-straight BC points.
Clemson regained the lead by scoring the next six points to take a one-point lead and stop the BC run. The teams stayed within three points of each other and with 2:59 left, Clifford dunked a nice feed from Jackson to make it 56-54 BC.
Clemson's Tanner Smith drew a foul on a 3-point attempt with just over a minute left and made two free throws to tie the game. Clifford struck again on the next BC possession and laid in a bucket to give BC another two-point edge. Jackson then forced Smith to travel with 31 seconds left, but Clifford missed a couple of free throws.
Milton Jennings was then fouled and hit one of his two free throws to cut the BC lead to 58-57, but Jackson hit a free throw to make the lead two points once again. On the final Clemson possession, Devin Booker was fouled putting back an offensive rebound with 1.0 on the clock. He missed his first free throw and had to miss his second, but he left too early and was whistled for a lane violation.
BC opened the game up with a quick 10-4 lead at the first media timeout with the help of 3-pointers from Humphrey and Daniels, but Clemson quickly closed that gap to 10-8. Clemson took its first lead with 10:14 left in the half, 13-12, when T.J. Sapp hit two free throws. The two teams played within a possession of each other the rest of the half and Clemson took a 28-26 lead into halftime after Andre Young hit a 3-pointer before the break.
Young led Clemson (9-7, 1-1 ACC) with 12 points and Sapp had 11. Jennings recorded 12 rebounds.
BC (6-10, 1-1) returns to Conte Forum on Saturday when it hosts Virginia Tech at 3 p.m.