Ian Schieffelin's big second half leads Clemson past Pitt
Schieffelin had 13 points in the second half (Photo by Merrell Mann).

Ian Schieffelin's big second half leads Clemson past Pitt

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – Ian Schieffelin came through with a big second half, and the Tigers continued their march to the postseason with their 20th win of the season.

Schieffelin scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half and recorded his seventh double-double of the season with 12 rebounds in leading Clemson to a 69-62 victory over Pitt Tuesday night in Littlejohn Coliseum.

Clemson improves to 20-8 overall and 10-7 in ACC play and is in 5th place in the ACC standings, a half-game behind Wake Forest. Pitt falls to 18-10 overall and 9-8 in the ACC. The Tigers swept both games from Pitt this season, and Clemson is now 12-3 all-time against the Panthers. Head coach Brad Brownell is 12-2 against Pitt.

Joseph Girard III and Chase Hunter added 15 each and PJ Hall had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Tigers. Clemson was 16-21 from the line and 7-15 from 3-point range. Clemson out-rebounded Pitt 39-32.

The Panthers jumped out to quick leads of 3-0 and then 8-3 and never trailed in the first half. The Tigers pulled to within two twice – once at 10-8 and then again at 12-10 – but the Panther guards used their quickness to keep the Tiger defense off balance.

At one point, the Panthers were 5-of-6 from 3-point range, and when Zack Austin nailed one from the corner, it gave Pitt a 23-13 lead with 9:29 to play in the half. But the Tigers battled back, with Girard doing some of the damage, and the defense began to tighten.

With Pitt ahead 31-23 with just over a minute remaining, Girard hit a short runner to make it 31-25, and Chase Hunter hit two free throws with 9.7 seconds remaining in the half, and the Panthers led 31-27 at intermission.

The Tigers came out and took their first lead early in the second half. Schieffelin scored on an old-fashioned three-point play, and the Tigers led 32-31.

The teams then swapped the lead 13 different times over the next 11 minutes, with Clemson eventually tying the game at 52-52 with just over six minutes to play. Josh Beadle then put back-to-back baskets together to put the Tigers up 56-52 on a 6-0 run.

Two minutes later, Schieffelin tossed in a 3-pointer – securing his eighth double-double of the season – and the Tigers were ahead 61-56 at the 4:08 mark. Clemson led 61-58 when the Tigers called a timeout with 2:02 to play – there wasn’t an under-4 media timeout, and both teams were laboring up the court.

Pitt scored after Clemson missed a shot to make it 61-60, but Hall was fouled on the other end and hit both free throws to put Clemson ahead 63-60 with 1:27 to play. The Panthers settled for a long 3-pointer on their next possession, and Jack Clark grabbed the rebound. Chase Hunter launched a 3-pointer of his own, and this one bounced on the side of the rim and then the backboard before falling through the net. Clemson led 66-60 at the 38 second mark, forcing the Panthers to call a timeout.

Pitt hit a free throw to make it 66-61, but on the rebound, Schieffelin broke free for a thunderous dunk that put the Tigers ahead 68-61 at the 30-second mark. Pitt hit another free throw to make it 68-62 with 23 seconds left, but Schieffelin was fouled on the rebound and hit one free throw to put the Tigers in front 69-62.

The Panthers air-balled a 3-pointer, and the Tigers grabbed the rebound and ran out the clock for the win.

The Tigers return to the court on Saturday when they travel to South Bend to take on Notre Dame at 7:45 pm.

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