Tigers go cold in South Bend in loss to Notre Dame

by - Senior Writer -
Clemson only led once in the loss to the Irish.
Clemson only led once in the loss to the Irish.

Notre Dame jumped out to a 7-4 lead just two minutes into the game and never looked back in routing Clemson 72-56 at Purcell Pavilion in South Bend Wednesday night.

The Tigers (10-6, 2-3 ACC) had won five of their last six heading into the game, but struggled from the field in the first half. Notre Dame (10-5, 4-1 ACC) has now won six of its last seven after a 3-4 start, including a 66-62 win over then No. 10 Kentucky.

The Tigers had won two out of the last three against the Fighting Irish in the series after dropping the first five.

PJ Hall led Clemson with 14 points while Hunter Tyson added 12. Dane Goodwin led Notre with 21 points while Blake Wesley added 20. Clemson shot just 21-of-60 from the field (35 percent), including a dismal 6-of-31 (19.4 percent) from 3-point range.

Hall hit a layup just 14 seconds into the game to give Clemson a 2-0 lead, but that was the only lead of the night for the Tigers. With the teams tied at 4-4, Notre Dame’s Goodwin drilled a 3-pointer to give Notre Dame a 7-4 lead. The lead eventually ballooned to 11 at 19-8, but the Tigers fought back and after a Hunter Tyson 3-pointer, the lead was just 19-14 at the 11:44 mark.

It was as close as the Tigers would get. The Irish then went on a 13-2 run over the next five minutes to push the lead to 32-16. Paul Atkinson then hit on an old-fashioned 3-point play with just two seconds left in the half to give the Irish a 39-22 lead at intermission.

Clemson shot just 25.8 percent from the field in the first half (8-for-31) and was just 2-for-16 from 3-point range.

The Irish led by as many as 23 twice in the second half and the Tigers were never able to get closer than 14 in the second half.

The Tigers return home to host Boston College at 6:30 pm Saturday in Littlejohn Coliseum.

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