BOSTON (AP) — Clemson coach Brad Brownell had a simple explanation why his team played so well.
“Everything’s better when you shoot it like that,” he said after the hot-shooting Tigers coasted to an 82-64 victory over Boston College on Saturday.
Al-Amir Dawes scored a career-high 22 points and Clemson posted its ninth straight victory over the Eagles.
“We’ve shot it well the last couple of weeks,” Brownell said. “I think getting off to great starts in both halves was certainly key, gave our guys a little bit of juice, a little bit of confidence.”
It was the Tigers’ (14-12, 8-8 Atlantic Coast Conference) third straight victory after a three-game losing streak. They haven’t lost to BC since a 68-61 setback at Littlejohn Coliseum on March 5, 2013.
Aamir Simms added 12 points. Hunter Tyson, John Newman III and Tevin Mack each scored 11 for Clemson, which shot 68.9% and made 12 of 23 on its 3-point attempts. The Tigers were shooting over 70% with around four minutes left.
It was Clemson's best shooting percentage in an ACC road game, surpassing the previous mark of 67.5% set at Virginia on Feb. 21, 1984.
“We came out and guys were hitting shots,” said Newman, who added 10 rebounds for his first career double-double. “That kind of sparked our defense. That kind of just carried us the whole game.”
Jay Heath led BC (13-15, 7-10) with 16 points. Jared Hamilton added 12 points on Senior Night.
“I wish I could tell you,” BC coach Jim Christian said when asked why his teams have struggled against Clemson. “We just didn't play well and they are playing well and they are in a really good rhythm.”
Clemson led 41-29 at intermission.
The dominance continued into the second half when the Tigers scored the first eight points during a 13-2 run that pushed their lead to 23. Dawes capped the spree with a 3-pointer from the left corner.
The Tigers had opened the game by scoring the initial 10 points and hit 10 of 11 shots during a stretch midway into the first half, pulling to a 36-21 edge on Dawes’ 3 from the top of the key.
On the defensive end, Clemson played tight man-to-man, limiting BC to many tough shots as the possession clock was winding down numerous times.
Clemson: The Tigers have an interesting resume. They’ve beaten two teams in the AP Top 10 — then-sixth ranked Louisville last Saturday and then-No 3 Duke on Jan. 14 — but have conference losses at N.C. State and Wake Forest. If they can finish the regular season strong and have a decent showing in the league postseason tournament, they could have an outside shot at an NCAA tourney berth.
Boston College: It was a miserable loss in what was shaping up to be a respectable season. The up-and-down Eagles have won their seven ACC games by an average margin of four points and coming in their losses were by an average of 18.8.
Clemson is the only ACC team that Christian doesn’t have a victory over in his six seasons in charge.
The Tigers shot 69.6% in the opening half (16 of 23) and connected on 50% (6 of 12) from beyond the arc.
Newman feels like the Tigers are growing up and starting to peak at the right time.
“It’s starting to build. I think it comes with maturity," he said. “I think we’re just becoming more mature as a team, we’re learning together, growing together.”
Clemson: At Georgia Tech on Tuesday.
Boston College: Hosts Notre Dame Wednesday.