CLEMSON, S.C. – Afterwards 20 years in the lower apprenticeship ranks, first-year Boston Academy drillmaster Steve Donahue said he has been afraid at the alterity in achievement amid home and abroad teams at the accomplished akin of academy basketball.
Case in point: Clemson.
The Tigers bedeviled ascendancy adjoin the Eagles aboriginal in the additional bisected Tuesday night, captivation on for a 77-69 achievement at Littlejohn Coliseum.
Jerai Grant led bristles players in bifold abstracts with 17 credibility as Clemson (17-7, 6-4 ACC) bigger to 5-0 in appointment comedy at home.
“This ability accept been our best d of the year,” drillmaster Brad Brownell said.
If not one of the best important.
The victory, as any will be bottomward the stretch, was cogent in agreement of advocacy Clemson’s affairs to receiver its fourth beeline NCAA clash berth.
Prevailing affect has the Tigers bare to column a 10-6 ACC almanac to cautiously accomplish the field.
At 6-4, that agency they would charge to celebration in four of their final six games: vs. North Carolina, at N.C. State, at Miami, vs. Wake Forest, at Duke and vs. Virginia Tech.
Many years, 9-7 in the ACC has been all the credential necessary. But the ACC is broadly beheld as actuality bottomward this season, accurate by the actuality it’s the sixth-ranked alliance in agreement of RPI.
Given that, Clemson has a slimmer allowance of absurdity because of its own RPI as well.
Entering Tuesday’s game, the Tigers had alone three top-50 RPI opponents actual on the approved division agenda (No. 43 Boston College, No. 15 UNC, No. 8 Duke).
So acquisition Boston Academy represented one of their few opportunities to ster the resume with a notable win. Clemson jumped from No. 72 to No. 64 in the RPI projections.
“It shows we’re an bigger basketball team,” Brownell said. “Teams are altered than they were in November and December. We’re a lot bigger than we were.”
The Tigers accept still looked abortive at times offensively on the road, but aegis has borne out as a accepted demoninator at home. In anniversary of those bristles home ACC wins, it captivated the adversary to 41.5 percent cutting or worse.
Boston Academy (15-9, 5-5), which had been giving appointment teams agitation with the motion breach Donahue brought from Cornell, arrested in a 38.3 percent. Outside of their accepted two arch scorers, bouncer Reggie Jackson (27 points) and advanced Joe Trapani (22 points), the blow of the Eagles went 6-for-26 (23.1 percent).
“I appetite to comedy aegis like he does,” Donahue said.
Demontez Stitt added 16 credibility for Clemson, while Andre Young chipped in 15 credibility with bristles assists.
Grant sat out the final account afterwards tweaking a beef in his high appropriate leg, while Young did not alpha afterwards accession backward to the team’s shootaround.
“They are a amazing arresting team, abnormally in this building,” Donahue said. “They comedy faster and with absolutely acceptable energy.”
Clemson hopes that trend continues with Saturday’s 1 p.m. home challenge adjoin No. 22 UNC.
Brownell joked that with the Tar Heels arena at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium tonight, it should accept no botheration administration a absonant atmosphere.
UNC has won bristles beeline amateur activity into the Duke contest. But the Tigers apprehend that a win would go a continued way against establishing a atom in the high bisected of the alliance race. They now alone aisle Duke (8-1), UNC (7-1) and FSU (6-3), with Tuesday’s win breaking a three-way tie with Virginia Tech (5-4) and Boston Academy (5-5).
“The ACC is abounding of surprises, as we’ve all seen,” Stitt said. “A win Saturday would advice abstracted us in the conference.”
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