CLEMSON, SC - I expected the Tigers would win big over Pitt with their backs against the wall, and they did just that. They led for the entire game and were up by 32 with 2 minutes left. It was relatively close for a while in the first half, but the turning point came after an apparent game-tying 3-pointer by Pitt was reversed because of a shot clock violation. After that, the Tigers went on a 7-0 run to extend the lead to 10 and led by 11 at the half.
As I predicted, Chase Hunter got his first start of the season after an impressive performance off the bench up at Syracuse. He made the most of the opportunity, going 4-5 for 13 points with 5 rebounds, 3 assists and no turnovers. The other big story of the game was Al-Amir Dawes, who was 5-8 from the arc for 19 points with 4 rebounds and 3 assists. He scored 17 in the first half of the BC game but shot just twice in the second half with no points--a big reason the Tigers blew their 23-point lead. He was just 2-7 for 6 points at Syracuse and needs to be much more consistently assertive, even when he's not shooting well. As good as a shooter and driver to the basket as he is, he could be one of the top scorers in the ACC if he would be more consistent and more aggressive. He just disappears offensively for long stretches. Hall had another good game, scoring 10 points in the first half and finishing with 16. He's another that could be a little more assertive at times, although he leads the team in scoring. He was 4-5 from the field against Pitt and has been extremely efficient all season, but he should be scoring 18-20 per game. Collins had another good night, scoring 10 points with 7 boards and 6 assists. Hemenway had another bad shooting night, going 1-5, but he hit a 3-pointer late in the game.
The Tigers were 12-25 from the arc with just 9 turnovers and allowed just 48 points. It was perhaps their most complete performance and was certainly their best defensive effort after their worst one up at Syracuse. Pitt and Clemson had the same 2-5 record at tip-off, indicating that the Tigers are much better than their record. In fact, they'd be in a very comfortable position in the standings at 4-4 right now if not for the fluke loss to Boston College a week ago. The blowout win was just what the doctor ordered, and they will carry some momentum with them to Cameron when they play No.9 Duke for the first time this season. The first scheduled meeting in Littlejohn, which was postponed because of Duke Covid issues, will be played on Feb.10.
Post-game interviews and highlights are below!
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