CLEMSON BASKETBALL

3-point success, lockdown defense guide Clemson to blowout in Atlanta
Ian Schieffelin led Clemson with 19 points, sinking three 3-pointers along the way. (Clemson athletics photo)

3-point success, lockdown defense guide Clemson to blowout in Atlanta


by - Correspondent -

The Chef was in the house Wednesday inside McCamish Pavilion, bolstering the Tigers to a 24-point win at Georgia Tech, 81-57.

Clemson moved to 8-7 in the ACC and is now level with Florida State, Pitt, and NC State in the standings. The Tigers host Florida State on Saturday (7:45 p.m./TheCW), which could be crucial for their chances to have a double bye in the ACC Tournament.

Ian Schieffelin was the man for Clemson, scoring 19 points, shooting 8-12 from the field and 3-4 from downtown. It was an impressive display from the junior power forward.

Three other Tigers ended their nights in double figures. PJ Hall celebrated his birthday with a gritty performance of 11 points, Chase Hunter posted 18, including 11 in the second half, and Joseph Girard notched 14.

The game started fast early, with the first six buckets being three-pointers. For Clemson, Hall, Schieffelin, and Hunter canned from downtown. With a 9-9 tie, Clemson went on a 14-0 run before Tech called their first timeout four minutes in. Two more threes by Girard and Hall helped Clemson run out to a 23-9 lead early.

Clemson went on a scoring drought after their explosion, going four and a half minutes before getting a bucket from Schieffelin for three. Georgia Tech bolstered a run of 8-0 from sloppy play from Clemson. GT stung their way into a competitive first half at the start, trying to keep their momentum from their double OT win at Littlejohn Coliseum last month.

However, Clemson closed the first half well. The Tigers' defense propelled them all game, holding the Yellow Jackets to 30% shooting. After the lead closed down to six, Georgia Tech scored two points in three minutes from 7:32 to 4:06. After those two points by Kowacie Reeves, the Yellow Jackets only scored five points for another three and a half minutes. Clemson’s half-court defense stopped the guard play, a main concern for them after the loss to NC State Saturday.

Schieffelin and Hall dictated the first half. It was theirs to dominate, totaling 24 points, while going perfect from three. All six three-pointers by the big men were from the top of the key and wing, canning some contested threes as well. Schieffelin tied his career high from three in the first half with three three-pointers made.

The second half started with a 12-point lead for Clemson, and the Tigers did not look back to start out. They stretched their lead to 17 with 12 minutes left to go in the game, in part to great bench play by RJ Godfrey and Dillon Hunter defensively. The Yellow Jackets couldn’t get much to fall besides from the free-throw line.

It was easy rolling for the Tigers, who held Tech to 2-of-10 in the middle of the second half. Jack Clark broke the 2-3 zone of the Yellow Jackets, canning a three-ball and extending the lead to 20 points with seven minutes left to play. Clemson smoothly sailed from there on out without any stress.

Clemson’s half-court offense was stellar. The Tigers did not step off the gas pedal even with the lead. Girard hit a pump fake three in the corner, followed by a great motion offense to give Schieffelin a post-move bucket. Finally, Chase Hunter hit a stepback three to push the lead to 24 with four minutes left to go.

Hunter stepped on the gas pedal. In seven minutes, Hunter scored 11 points, including three threes. It seemed to be a replica of his second-half surge against Miami a week ago. The Tigers subbed off all starters with two minutes left to go and closed out a 24-point win against the Yellow Jackets.


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