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Paws up, paws down: Tigers win against Pittsburgh

Toby Corriston
Clemson guard Chase Hunter (1) attempts a tough shot over Pittsburgh’s Ishmael Leggett (5) in Clemson’s win over the Panthers at Littlejohn Coliseum on Tuesday night.

The Clemson men’s basketball team defeated the Pittsburgh Panthers 69-62 on Tuesday night at Littlejohn Coliseum.

Clemson (20-8, 10-7 ACC) came out slow in the first half and quickly fell into a 10-point deficit. The Tigers’ saving grace came in the form of late-game runs, which led them to their overall success against the Panthers (18-10, 9-8 ACC) to secure a late win.

Below are some takeaways from the game:

Paws up: Defensive play

Clemson’s stingy defense held a Pittsburgh team, which has averaged 74.6 points per game, to just 62 points. A major factor in the low score was that the Tigers forced the Panthers to shoot 33% from the field and 28% from behind the arc.

Pittsburgh took 13 more shots and had eight fewer turnovers than Clemson, which is a testament to the amount of defensive stops the Tigers had to make.

“Our defense has been terrific,” head coach Brad Brownell said. “Obviously, that is a big part of why we are having success.”

Forward Jack Clark has been a catalyst for the Tigers in a defensive turnaround since he returned from his injury, grabbing nine rebounds. Additionally, junior forward Ian Schieffelin recorded 12 rebounds and was pivotal in the team’s defensive success, as the Tigers went on to grab 34 defensive rebounds.

Paws down: Slow first-half momentum

The Tigers struggled to find a rhythm in the initial stages of the game, which allowed the Panthers to take an early lead.

Clemson turned the ball over on its first possession, giving up a 3-pointer to the Panthers for the first score of the game. In the first half alone, the Tigers had seven turnovers.

Clemson also struggled to get points on the board, only shooting 37% from the field in the first 15 minutes. The Panthers preyed on Clemson’s missteps, taking a 10-point lead with just under nine minutes left in the first half.

With the clock ticking down to the buzzer, Clemson was on a three-minute scoring drought until the Tigers went into the half down four, with a score of 31-27.

The team shot 9-for-23 from the field, going 43% from behind the arc in the first half.

Paws up: Second-half heat

Clemson came out the gate hot after halftime and ramped up its offensive production, ending the game shooting 48% from the field and 47% from deep.

Recently named ACC Player of the Week, guard Joseph Girard III has made an impressive mark on the court from behind the arc, going 3-for-3. He went on to finish the game with 15 points.

Other notable impacts included Chase Hunter and Schieffelin, who each poured in 15 points.

While the Panthers struggled late in the game, the Tigers had a hot hand as they sank six of their final eight shots.

Paws down: Assist-to-turnover ratio

Clemson struggled to maintain a favorable balance between assists and turnovers, hindering its efficiency at times, which gave the Panthers success. These ball security issues led to some missed opportunities for the Tigers and allowed Pittsburgh to capitalize on this flaw.

The Tigers had 10 assists to 11 turnovers, which led to 9 points for the Panthers.

“This was a great team win against a really good team,” Brownell said to the media after the game.

Clemson will hope to take this success to the road, where it will face Notre Dame on Saturday at 7:45 p.m. in South Bend, Indiana.

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About the Contributors
Sarah Pepe
Sarah Pepe, Senior Reporter
Toby Corriston, Asst. Photo Editor
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