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Clemson pulls out close victory against UAB

William Stehn
Chase Hunter, pictured against Winthrop, helped the Tigers in their close win over the UAB Blazers in Asheville, North Carolina, on Friday.

The Clemson Tigers defeated the UAB Blazers in a back-and-forth matchup by a score of 77-76 in the Tigers’ first game of the Asheville Championship on Friday. Clemson is now 2-0 on the season after coming back from being down by 9 points with just over seven minutes left against the Blazers.

The Tigers were led by their star center, PJ Hall, who finished the game with 27 points, nine rebounds and two assists. Hall started off the game strong, scoring 15 points in the first half. In the second half, Hall showcased his skills on both defense and offense, as he put up 12 points, two steals and three blocks.

Clemson went into the half trailing UAB by three points; however, the defense for the Tigers in the second half allowed them to get back into the game. Clemson forced seven turnovers in the second half and had four steals and five blocks. The defensive play was much improved from the first half when the Tigers only forced three turnovers and had no steals.

With seven minutes left on the clock, junior forward Ian Schieffelin dunked the ball to begin a comeback for Clemson. The Tigers were down 67-58 before Schieffelin’s dunk, which then sparked a 14-0 run for Clemson. Schieffelin led this run, scoring 6 of the 14 points for the Tigers.

Chase Hunter also had a strong showing for the Tigers. The senior guard had 16 points and four assists in the game and had multiple big moments in the closing minutes of the game, including a 3-point shot with six minutes remaining in the game to bring the Tigers within 3 points.

Hunter then assisted the next two 3-pointers to give the Tigers a 70-67 lead. The Blazers managed to find a way to take a 76-75 lead with only 10 seconds left but fouled Hunter, allowing him to make two free throws with three seconds left and, ultimately, to win the game for Clemson.

Although the Tigers were able to pull out the win against UAB, they did have some rough areas in the game. Clemson was outrebounded 39 to 26 by the Blazers and allowed 17 second-chance points. The Tigers were also reliant on their starters to score, as the bench only had 16 points, while UAB’s bench had 34 points. Clemson will need to control the boards and score off of the bench as the season progresses and the team begins facing strong ACC opponents.

Clemson will return to action against Davidson on Sunday at 3 p.m. in the final game of the Asheville Championship.

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About the Contributors
Luke Beard, Asst. Sports Editor
William Stehn, Asst. Photo Editor
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