Senior guard Gabe DeVoe matched his career high with 25 points as No. 19 Clemson topped Boston College 90-82 on Thursday in the quarterfinal round of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
Clemson, the tournament’s No. 4 seed, improved to 23-8 and advanced to play top seed and No. 1-ranked Virginia in Friday’s semifinals.
No. 12 seed Boston College, which upset fifth-seeded North Carolina State in Wednesday’s second round, slipped to 19-15.
The Tigers, who are virtually assured of their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2011, have won seven in a row against Boston College and are 3-0 all-time against the Eagles in ACC Tournament play.
Junior guards Shelton Mitchell scored 21 points and Marcquise Reed added 12 for Clemson. Freshman forward Aamir Simms scored 10 points and freshman guard A.J. Oliver II added nine points on 3-of-3 shooting from long range. Junior center Elijah Thomas had 12 rebounds and eight points.
Guard Ky Bowman paced Boston College with 23 points while guard Jerome Robinson had 20. Junior guard Jordan Chatman added 15 points and forward Steffon Mitchell scored 11.
Boston College led 12-3 early, but Clemson went on a 15-4 run capped by a Mark Donnal 3-pointer to take the lead for good at 18-16 with 11:50 left in the first half. The Tigers began to pull away and extended their advantage to 14 points on DeVoe’s second 3-pointer with 5:40 left in the first half.
DeVoe led the Tigers with 10 first-half points and Clemson made nine shots from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes to lead at the break 43-36.
DeVoe continued to have a hot hand in the second half, scoring the first five points to push Clemson’s lead to 48-36. Clemson’s lead swelled to as many as 16 points, but the Eagles closed the gap late and pulled within 63-61 on a 3-pointer by Robinson with 5:47 remaining.
That was as close as the Eagles would get as Clemson kept them at by at the free-throw line, where the Tigers converted 20 of 22 attempts.
Clemson, which won 11 regular-season ACC games for the first time in program history, was picked for a 13th-place finish in the ACC’s preseason media poll and finished third. The jump of 10 places from preseason to postseason is the largest in ACC history since the preseason poll began in 1970.
—Field Level Media