BC 59, Clemson 57: Eagles Gain First ACC Win


It was not a crisply-played contest, but Boston College will take wins whenever they can.

On Thursday night, the Boston College Eagles and their freshman-laden roster won their ACC home opener as they defeated the Clemson Tigers, 59-57. The Eagles snapped a three-game losing streak and are now 6-10 (1-1) on the season.

For much of the first half, both the Eagles and Tigers were very close together, though the Eagles led most of the way. Looking like they were about to take a lead into the half, however, BC gave up a three-pointer to Clemson with two seconds remaining, and the Tigers had a 28-26 advantage. Boston College committed ten turnovers in the first twenty minutes of the game.

Early on in the second, it began to look bleak for BC, as Clemson got out to a seven-point lead and seemed to be pulling away, but a combination of Tigers mistakes and big Boston College baskets cut the deficit down, and with another surge, the Eagles were able to retake the lead at 45-43. From then until the end of the game, the two teams would tie or swap leads several times, and the game was in doubt even in its final second. Several Clemson miscues with under one minute to go ensured that they never got the winning basket, however.

For Boston College, this win is meaningful beyond the fact that they filled out the ACC win column (something that at least a few BC fans and most national media did not believe would happen). The Eagles, in just their second conference game, managed to overcome their own faults and win. BC did not play their best game, and Clemson certainly did not, but what matters is that they got the job done. If you’re an Eagles fan, you don’t care that Clemson is a mediocre 9-7 team: you see this as a young team scrapping its way to an ACC win however it came. There is no such thing as a bad win, especially in a power conference.

This victory, despite BC having made its fair share of mistakes, is proof that the Eagles are learning and have gotten better. Remember, this is a team that lost to UMass and Holy Cross by 36 and 22 points, respectively. That bad BC team will rear its head now and again throughout conference play, as one might expect, but BC fans now have reason to believe that the Eagles are capable of being competitive going forward, and perhaps picking off some of the other lesser ACC teams on their schedule.

Doubtlessly, the 2010-11 Wake Forest comparisons will also be made, as the Eagles got their first conference win in Game #2 while the Deacs had to play six and didn’t win again. Speaking only for myself, given the weakness at the bottom of the conference and signs of improvement from the Eagles, I do believe BC will win again this season.

We won’t have to wait long to find out if it will be in Game #3: BC will host a slumping Virginia Tech Hokies team on Saturday afternoon.