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Clemson unable to defeat North Carolina at the buzzer

Matt Mynes, Contributor

Clemson center PJ Hall (24) defends North Carolina guard Caleb Love (2) in Littlejohn Coliseum on Feb. 8, 2022.

In a back-and-forth 77-79 defeat versus North Carolina on Tuesday, Clemson was unable to convert a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer, giving the Tigers their second straight loss.
On the game-winning attempt, the Tigers had 3.1 seconds to travel the full court’s distance off an inbound pass. Chase Hunter inbounded the ball to PJ Hall as a trailer and then received a pass back from Hall. Hunter dribbled up the court and lobbed it up to David Collins.
Collins got a solid look from beyond-the-arc on the left wing but missed the shot off the front rim.
“We got a great look,” said Clemson head coach Brad Brownell after the game. “You look at it, I’m standing right behind it, it’s right on line, it’s just short.”
Collins’ attempt came after North Carolina forward Brady Manek converted a layup that was ultimately the game-winning basket. 
“I think David just kind of watched the ball, and Manek made a nice cut behind him,” Brownell said of the game-winning layup.
Offensively, Clemson struggled in the first half, shooting 33.3%. Meanwhile, North Carolina also had its offensive struggles, but Armando Bacot’s 15 first-half points were enough to give the Tar Heels a five-point lead at halftime.
While the offenses had their difficulties in the first half, both teams struggled to stop one another from scoring after halftime. Clemson scored 52 second-half points and North Carolina scored 49 second-half points.
Of those 52 second-half points for the Tigers, 17 came from Hall, who continues to make his case for ACC’s Most Improved Player Award. He led Clemson in scoring with 24 points and had a game-high four blocks.
“I thought that we competed,” Hall said after the game. “I thought we had a lot of great energy, great spirit, and it ended up just not going our way.”
According to Brownell, Hall, who has been battling a foot injury, barely practiced before Tuesday’s game, but was still able to play 29 minutes.
After the game, Hall admitted his need to work on not fouling early, as he picked up two early fouls in Tuesday’s game.
In the forward position, Naz Bohannon and Ian Schieffelin filled in for the injured Hunter Tyson, who is out with a broken collarbone.
Schieffelin was second in scoring for the Tigers with 12 points while Bohannon contributed six points on 2-8 shooting. 
“My energy has to be up there because Naz can’t play the whole game,” Schieffelin said. “So, me being able to make plays, defensively, offensively, boosting our morale, just keeping us at a high energy is big for me.” 
As for Brownell’s thoughts on Schieffelin’s performance, he thought Schieffelin played well. 
“We have a lot of confidence in him and think he’s going to be a good player,” he said of Schieffelin. “I hope [this game] gives him a ton of confidence.”
The Tigers’ loss on Tuesday comes after a loss to Georgia Tech on Saturday. Now, they have a quick two-day turnaround ahead of hosting Duke.
“We can’t kill ourselves,” Hall said of the upcoming preparation for Duke. “We got such a quick turnaround we just got to go out there and play the next game.”
The Tigers will host No. 7 Duke on Thursday, followed by a third consecutive home against Notre Dame on Saturday. With Tuesday’s loss to North Carolina, these next two games are critical for Clemson, as they push towards the end of the regular season.

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