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Paws up, paws down: Clemson vs. NC State

Max Knipstein // Clemson Athletics

Clemson forward RJ Godfrey (22) and guard Dillon Hunter (2) celebrate against NC State in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament on March 9, 2023, at Greensboro Coliseum. 

The Clemson men’s basketball team looked impressive in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament, dominating the N.C. State Wolfpack 80-54 to move onto the semifinal round. Here are the biggest takeaways from the game:

Paws up: The starters

Clemson’s starters scored 60 of the team’s 80 points. Four out of five of the starters on the team scored in double-digits, with PJ Hall and Ian Schieffelin leading the way with 15 points each. 

The starting group also combined for 26 rebounds, led by Hunter Tyson, who had a strong 12-rebound performance on the night. The starters alone nearly outrebounded the entire N.C. State team, having only two fewer rebounds than the Wolfpack. 

The starting lineup for the Clemson team also combined for 13 assists, nine of which came from Chase Hunter, who had one more assist than the entire N.C. State team. 

Paws up: Dominant second-half play

After only leading by three at halftime, The Tigers used a huge second half to pull away, outscoring the Wolfpack 41-18 in the final 20 minutes. Clemson came out of the tunnel in the second half on a mission and looked unstoppable on its way to the win.

The 18 points allowed in the second half is the lowest amount any team has allowed in one half in the ACC Tournament this year. 

Paws down: Turnovers

Although Clemson put on a dominant showcase of its abilities, there was some turnover trouble throughout the game. The Tigers combined for 13 turnovers, with Hall having four. However, the turnovers didn’t seem to get into the head of the team, as the Tigers still cruised to a huge win and were able to play very efficient basketball. 

Paws up: Consistency

The Tigers were consistent in this pivotal game, shooting 50.0% from the field, 45.8% from beyond the arc and 81.3% from the free throw line. The team also found a way to score 39 points in the first half and 41 in the second.

An impressive 3-point shooting game was also huge for the Tigers, hitting 11 of their 24 attempts. This team is very deep when it comes to shooting, and performances like this show that.

Clemson’s impressive shooting displayed how capable the offense can be when playing at its best. If the Tigers want to keep winning, they will need to continue shooting the ball at a high percentage.

Paws up: The Tigers could go dancing

Coming into the game against the Wolfpack, Clemson was on the outside looking in for a spot in the NCAA Tournament. However, with its third win against a Quad-1 Wolfpack team, the Tigers might have cemented themselves into the tournament. 

Head coach Brad Brownell’s team has had an impressive 23-9 season and a 14-6 record in the conference, making the team look like tournament contenders. Two tough losses to Boston College and Louisville hindered the Tigers’ chances of making the tournament. However, with this last win, it looks like the Clemson team is set for the tournament.

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Luke Beard
Luke Beard, Asst. Sports Editor
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