Big Ten-ACC Challenge 2018: Nebraska, Boston College Win on Opening Night

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 27, 2018

Nebraska's Glynn Watson Jr. brings the ball up the court while defended by Clemson's Clyde Trapp during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
Richard Shiro/Associated Press

The 2018 Big Ten-ACC Challenge tipped off Monday night with a pair of games.

The Clemson Tigers hosted the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Monday's first matchup, and the Minnesota Golden Gophers hit the road to take on the Boston College Eagles to close out the night.

The ACC enters this year's event as the two-time defending champion. Making it three years in a row won't be easy. The Big Ten has seven teams ranked in the most recent Associated Press Top 25 poll.

The first day of the annual showcase gives one conference the opportunity to gain an early edge.

     

Monday Scores

Nebraska 68, Clemson 66

Boston College 68, Minnesota 56

           

Monday Recap

Nebraska 68, Clemson 66

Clemson mounted a late comeback but couldn't complete the job at Littlejohn Coliseum.

Trailing 66-59 with a 1:29 remaining, the Tigers scored five straight points to close the deficit to two, 66-64. Clemson guard Marcquise Reed rebounded a missed three-pointer from Nebraska guard James Palmer Jr., which allowed the Tigers an opportunity to tie the game. However, Reed traveled to give the ball back to Nebraska.

Glynn Watson Jr. hit two free throws, which proved to be enough for the Cornhuskers to seal the victory.

While the 2018-19 season is still young, CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein thought the result was big for Nebraska.

Palmer finished as the game's leading scorer (20 points) and narrowly missed out on a double-double after grabbing nine rebounds. Watson and Isaac Copeland chipped in with 12 and 16 points apiece.

Elijah Thomas scored a team-high 16 points for Clemson, while Reed posted 15 points, five rebounds and three assists.

Last year, six of Nebraska's nine losses during the regular season were decided by single digits. Going on the road and pulling out a close win over the Tigers bodes well for the Cornhuskers as they look to build on a 2018 NIT appearance.

       

Boston College 68, Minnesota 56

Boston College pulled away in the second half to cruise to a 68-56 home win over Minnesota.

With 17:17 left in the second half, Golden Gophers forward Jordan Murphy scored to bring his team to within two points, 39-37. Minnesota then scored just five points in more than 10 minutes of game time as the Eagles built a 14-point lead, 56-42.

Poor shooting doomed the Golden Gophers. They shot 29.2 percent from the field and missed 25 of their 30 three-point attempts.

Murphy, the team's second-leading scorer, also battled foul trouble that limited him to 26 minutes on the floor. The senior fouled out with 5:33 left in the game and his team trailing by 14 points.

Nik Popovic had a big game off the bench for Boston College. He scored 18 points and collected six rebounds. Eagles leading scorer Ky Bowman didn't have a very efficient night—shooting 3-of-13—but still finished with 12 points and added 11 rebounds to complete his double-double.

     

Where to watch: College basketball games and related coverage are available through Fubo.TV/welcome.

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