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Men’s Basketball Falls Short in Last Home Game

Senior guard Jordan Roper (20) goes in for a layup. 
Savannah N. Miller, Photo Editor

Senior guard Jordan Roper (20) goes in for a layup. 

In Clemson’s final home game in the Bon Secours Wellness Arena, the Tigers faced off against No. 4 ranked Virginia looking to build some momentum heading into the ACC Tournament. 

Support from the Clemson faithful was, not surprisingly, phenomenal. Those wishing to simply witness a highly contested basketball game certainly had their desires fulfilled; however, those rooting for the Tigers went home unsatisfied. Unfortunately, Clemson fell just short of a key victory, ending their regular season with a 64-57 loss. 

The Tigers have enjoyed a superb home court advantage in the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville while their usual home court in Clemson, Littlejohn Coliseum, has been undergoing renovations. Prior to facing Virginia on Wednesday, Clemson had attained a 13-2 home record and a 16-12 overall record. Virginia, riding a wave of momentum after defeating the University of North Carolina 79-74, clearly had plans to take Clemson’s home court advantage away very early in the game. 

After just five minutes of playing time, the Cavaliers had stormed to a 12-0 lead, and a blowout of the Tigers looked inevitable. However, Clemson did not lose heart, and with four minutes left in the first half, they had narrowed Virginia’s lead to only three points when Jaron Blossomgame connected on a 3-point attempt to make the score 26-23. Heading into the half, the score was 33-27 in the Cavaliers’ favor. 

Looking to bring the Clemson crowd back into the game, Blossomgame hammered home a reverse dunk during Clemson’s first possession of the second half. About three minutes into the half, Clemson finally erased the deficit created by Virginia’s fast start to the game, taking a 35-34 lead. For the majority of the second half, Clemson and Virginia were in a back-and-forth battle of lead changes and momentum. With seven minutes remaining, Clemson held a 47-46 lead and were fighting hard to keep it, but ultimately to no avail. The experienced Cavaliers slowly extended their lead in the remaining minutes and went on to win by seven. 

Unsurprisingly, Clemson’s dynamic scorer Jaron Blossomgame had an outstanding game, posting 31 points and five rebounds. Despite his valiant effort, Blossomgame did not receive much help from the rest of the team. This was especially true at the start of the second half when he was the only Tiger to score for the first nine minutes. Every other scorer for Clemson remained in single-digits in points scored. Landry Knoko, Clemson’s center, finished with eight points and six rebounds. 

On the other side of the ball, Malcolm Brogdon continued to show why he is one of the best players in the ACC. He finished the game with 18 points and four rebounds, consistently connecting on big shots when the game was close. Anthony Gill also had a solid performance for the Cavaliers with 11 points and 10 rebounds. 

Clemson will play at Boston College on March 5 to complete their regular season. Afterwards, they will compete in the ACC Tournament next week in Washington, D.C. 



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