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Paws up, paws down: Clemson vs. Morehead State

Matt Mynes // Photo Editor

Clemson forward Hunter Tyson (5) dunks against Morehead State in the first round of the 2023 NIT in Littlejohn Coliseum on March 15, 2023. 

The Clemson men’s basketball team fell to the Morehead State Eagles 68-64 Wednesday night. With the Tigers’ 2022-2023 season in the books, here are some of the key takeaways from the loss:
Paws up: Another hot start
One thing the Clemson men’s basketball team did an incredible job of in the latter end of the season was taking an early lead.
At the beginning of the game, the Tigers jumped out to an 8-0 lead to start. At one point in the first half, they led by as many as 15 points over the Eagles, with this early dominance sending hopes sky-high.
If the aggression of the first 10 minutes was played for the rest of the game, it could have been Clemson moving on to the next round.
Paws down: 3-point shooting
In recent games, Clemson had improved on shooting from beyond the arc towards the final minutes of a game, but this time around, it was a tale of two halves. 
Whereas the Tigers began the game shooting 4 for 8 on 3-pointers in the first 12 minutes of the game, the team only sank one out of 11 tries in the entire second half. Consistently missing these key moments throughout the game eventually proved to be what lost the lead for Clemson.
“I couldn’t hit the ocean if I fell out of a boat,” forward Hunter Tyson said after the loss. “When you play this game long enough, sometimes that happens.”
Tyson, who had shot 41.4% from three-point range going into Wednesday, was 1 for 7 on Wednesday. 
“We just couldn’t make a shot,” head coach Brad Brownell said. “Sometimes, when you are open and feel the pressure, it makes it harder.”
Paws up: PJ Hall’s block party
PJ Hall did an excellent job of protecting the paint, reaching a career-high in blocks on Wednesday night. The junior center blocked five shots in the loss and added 13 points in the second half to help the Tigers down the stretch. 
Despite Hall planning to test his NBA draft eligibility, according to, if the junior decides to return next year, Brownell will be happy to have his star big man back. 
Paws down: Blown lead
Despite having a 15-point lead at one point, the Tigers were unable to hold it for long. The first half finished with eight unanswered points from the Eagles, ultimately providing the momentum they needed to finish the game. Morehead State slowly closed the gap on Clemson’s lead and eventually took it for good late in the game to come away with the win. 
“You get up like that, like what we did in the first half, and maybe we took our foot off the gas. You just can’t do that,” Tyson said. “They have a lot of good players that are out on the floor playing for them, and that should be a lesson to everyone.”
Paws up: An incredible season
Although the season didn’t end how the team wanted it to, the Tigers still have a lot to be proud of regarding their season in its entirety.
Clemson finished third in the ACC, had multiple players on the All-ACC teams, had its best start in ACC history and so much more. There is plenty for the Tigers to reflect on and reminisce about, as this season was one of the most historic for Clemson.

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Griffin Barfield
Griffin Barfield, Asst. Sports Editor
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