Instant Analysis: Clemson 71, South Carolina 57

by - Staff Writer -
Photo: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

CLEMSON – Two in a row.

It’s been a long time since any Clemson sport has been able to say that they have a two-game winning streak over the South Carolina Gamecocks, but after a 71-57 victory over the Gamecocks Sunday afternoon in Littlejohn, the Clemson men’s basketball team can say just that.

It was over when: With 12:27 to play in the game, Rod HallRod Hall
Jr. Guard
#4 6-1, 210
Augusta, GA

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found K.J. McDanielsK.J. McDaniels
Jr. Forward
#32 6-6, 200
Birmingham, AL

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for an alley-oop. McDaniels followed the impressive slam with a block and Hall finished the series with a three-point play to extend Clemson’s lead to 45-39.

Game ball goes to: Junior K.J. McDaniels put on a show for the Littlejohn Coliseum crowd – dunking over South Carolina big men, hitting outside shots, blocking shots and snaring passes out of mid air. McDaniels sparked the Tigers with five points early in the second half to end a 13-6 run by the Gamecocks. The Birmingham, Alabama, native finished the day with 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks.

Stat of the game: Clemson has long been a poor free throw shooting team, but that wasn’t the case Sunday night against the Gamecocks. The Tigers hit 24-of-26 from the charity stripe – a 92-percent clip.

What it means for Clemson: The Tigers remain unbeaten and are off to a quick start in the 2013 season, without the presence of a dominant big man. McDaniels and Rod Hall – two of the team’s veteran leaders – have led both on and off the court to give Brad BrownellBrad Brownell
Head Coach
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’s young team the confidence in game situations. Improved free throw shooting will also go a long way in giving the Tigers a better chance to come away with a victory during close games down the stretch.

What it means for South Carolina: The South Carolina Gamecocks have gotten off to a slow start with a close loss on the road at the hands of Baylor and on the road at Clemson. However, the Gamecocks are very young – 12 of their 16 man roster are freshmen or sophomores. Frank Martin’s team will get better as the season goes along and they gain some experience, but they need to get better on the offensive end. South Carolina won’t be successful in the SEC if they can’t find some offensive continuity – six minute scoring droughts just won’t cut it against the Florida’s and the Kentucky’s of the world.

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