Boston College men’s basketball nearly secured its second comeback win over Clemson this season on Saturday, but a few missed layups and defensive lapses from BC late in the game allowed the Tigers to escape Conte Forum with a 70–60 win.
The last time the two teams met, BC (11–17, 6–12 Atlantic Coast) erased a 23-point deficit to earn a win at Clemson (14–15, 6–12). Twenty-three points is the largest comeback in Division I this season and is tied for the largest in the history of the Atlantic Coast Conference. But despite its heroics in its last meeting with Clemson, BC fell short Saturday.
The Tigers outrebounded the Eagles 40–30. BC shot 20.7 percent from behind the arc and 36.2 percent from the field. BC head coach Earl Grant said after the game that on a lot of possessions, particularly in the first half, his players should have made an extra pass or two.
“They beat us to some balls,” Grant said. “Loose balls, offensive rebounds, all the little tough, extra-effort plays. I thought they had the edge on us today.”
Despite its shooting struggles, BC stayed within reach all game. With two and a half minutes to play, the Eagles were down by 10, and the game very well could have been put out of reach with a few Clemson scores. A minute later, though, a steal and a layup from DeMarr Langford Jr. cut the Tigers’ lead to six.
After getting a stop on the next possession, Langford Jr. slashed to the rim again but missed his layup, and the Eagles missed out on their comeback chances.
Had BC completed its comeback, the Eagles would have had their first win streak—defined by at least three straight wins—in ACC play since the 2014–15 season.
The loss came on BC’s Senior Day, with James Karnik, Makai Ashton-Langford, and Brevin Galloway playing their last game in Conte Forum.
“Makai’s been a warrior for us, and James has been really good,” Grant said. “And they helped themselves this season for their future. They’ve played good basketball.”
On Saturday, Karnik finished with a team-high 17 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Ashton-Langford and Galloway finished with 10 and 11 points respectively, and each player missed six 3-pointers. Ashton-Langford went 0 of 6 from deep, and Galloway shot 3 of 9.
After two years at Providence, Ashton-Langford transferred to BC to play with his younger half-brother DeMarr. Since arriving in Chestnut Hill, the explosive guard has been a key contributor for the Eagles. This season, Ashton-Langford leads the Eagles in points with 332 and assists with 96.
Karnik transferred to BC from Lehigh. This season, Karnik used his extra year of NCAA eligibility to play another year with the Eagles. The crafty center is averaging 9.4 points per game and has recorded two 20-plus point games this season, most notably his career-high 26-point game in a win over Virginia Tech.
Galloway was also a transfer who came with Grant from the College of Charleston. In the 2020–21 season, the guard averaged 15 points per game before suffering a season-ending injury in mid-December.
“He’s given everything he’s got playing with a leg and a half,” Grant said. “He’s done a great job helping us move the program forward.”
Featured Image by Chris Ticas / Heights Staff