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Tigers fall to No. 7 Duke in rout

Caleb Browder

Clemson men’s basketball guard Chase Hunter (3) faces off Duke’s Trevor Keels (1) in Littlejohn Coliseum on Feb. 10, 2022.

In Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s last game at Littlejohn Coliseum, Clemson was unable to take down the No. 7 Blue Devils on Thursday night, falling 82-64. 
The Tigers were able to bring the game within five points in the opening four minutes of the second half, but that five-point deficit quickly grew. Duke proceeded to go on a 20-6 run in just under eight minutes, making a Clemson comeback insurmountable. 
“The story of the game should be how well Duke played tonight,” said Clemson head coach Brad Brownell after the game. “Duke played very well tonight. Their kids deserve credit for their execution, preparation and all of their hard work.”
Battling a foot injury, Clemson sophomore center PJ Hall led the Tigers in scoring with 17 points and had two blocks.
Hall was able to finish the game, but another Tiger was not as lucky, as Clemson forward David Collins was ejected from the game for a flagrant two foul with three minutes left in the first half.
The foul was called after Collins ran into Wendell Moore. Jr on a fast break dunk, a decision that caused Moore to take a scary fall. After the game, Brownell said Collins felt terrible about the foul and he tried to use the foul as a teaching moment for Collins.
The Tigers were already without starting forward Hunter Tyson, who is out with a broken collarbone, so the loss of Collins left Clemson’s forward depth depleted.  
Meanwhile, freshman forward Ian Schieffelin got the start at power forward for the Tigers and finished the game with a team-high ten rebounds.
The Tigers struggled offensively at times in the second half and defensively they could not stop Duke guard Trevor Keels.
Keels was a force to be reckoned with, scoring 25 points, 23 of which came in the second half.
Clemson sophomore guard Chase Hunter also had an efficient night, scoring 13 points, two shy of tying his career high.
As a team, Clemson shot 37.9% from the field, largely due to Nick Honor and Al-Amir Dawes’ shooting, who both shot 1-7 on the night. In comparison, Duke shot 49.2%.
The Tigers’ loss comes two days after the Tigers fell short to North Carolina, a game that was decided by two points. Although the past two losses have been to high quality opponents, Clemson can’t dwell on them, as they now look forward to Saturday’s matchup with the ACC’s No. 2 team in Notre Dame.

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