CLEMSON MAKES NCAA HISTORY, ANNIHILATES AUBURN TO MAKE SWEET 16!
- 2018-03-19 09:58:02
SAN DIEGO — Gabe DeVoe scored 22 points and Elijah Thomas added 18 points and 11 rebounds as No. 5 seed Clemson defeated No. 4 seed Auburn in dominating fashion, 84-53 Sunday afternoon at Viejas Arena in San Diego, Calif.
The victory sends Clemson to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1997. The 31-point victory margin was the largest for Clemson in an NCAA Tournament game and the largest for the Tigers in any game vs. a top 25 team. Auburn was ranked 19th in the AP poll entering the tournament.
“I told the team before we started here that we had just played 20 games against teams in a great league,” said Clemson Coach Brad Brownell. “I thought we were prepared for anything based on what we had done.
“The team was bouncing off the ceiling to play before the first game (against New Mexico State), but today there was a calm about them in the locker room. We were focused from the beginning and after we made some corrections in defensive rebounding we were in good shape.”
The previous record for victory margin by the Tigers against a top 20 team was 27 in a 74-47 win over Duke on February 4, 2009.
DeVoe scored 22 points in each of the two games in San Diego and now has eight games of at least 20 points this year, including seven in his last 14. He is the first Clemson player to have consecutive 20-point games in the same NCAA Tournament since Elden Campbell in 1989.
DeVoe made 6-9 three-point shots, a record for made threes by a Clemson player in an NCAA Tournament game.
Thomas made 7-10 shots from the field on the way to his 18-point night. It was his ninth double-double of the season. Marcquise Reeded at 16 points and seven rebounds, while Shelton Mitchell added 10 points, six rebounds and six assists.
The Tigers dominated the game in every fashion, as they won the rebounding 50-32, had 19 assists against just seven turnovers offensively, and allowed Auburn 25.6 percent shooting from the field, including 22 percent on three-point shots.
The two teams played on even terms early. The game was tied three times within the first eight minutes, including 13-13 at the 12:39 mar. With the score 18-15 in favor of Clemson, the Tigers went on a 17-0 run over the next 7:48 to take a 35-15 lead. Clemson grew the margin to 43-19 at halftime. The 24-point lead was Clemson’s largest in history in an NCAA Tournament game.
The Tigers then put the game away in the first 3:34 of the second half by outscoring Auburn 13-5 to take a 32 point lead at 56-24. Clemson’s largest lead was 41 points, a margin it first realized at the 11:33 mark with a 70-29 advantage. Auburn cut the margin to 29 points at the 4:17 mark (77-48), but that was as close as the SEC Tigers could get.
Clemson will face Kansas in Omaha, Nebraska on Friday, March 23 at 7:07 ET. It will be the first meeting ever between the two teams.
•Clemson defeated Auburn 84-53 on Sunday in the NCAA Tournament in San Diego. The 31-point victory margin was Clemson’s largest in an NCAA Tournament game. The previous best was 18 points in a 70-52 win over UAB in the 2011 NCAA Tournament first round game in Dayton. Brad Brownell also coached that game for the Tigers.
•The 31-point victory was the largest margin of victory in any game vs. a Top 25 team in school history. Auburn was ranked 19th in the final AP poll entering the NCAA Tournament. The previous record was a 27-point win (74-47) over Duke at Littlejohn Coliseum on Feb. 4, 2009.
•Clemson’s win over #19 Auburn was the fourth win over a top 25 team this year for the Tigers. Clemson also defeated a #22 Florida, a #18 Miami (FL), a #19 North Carolina this year. This is just the sixth season in Clemson history the program has had at least four top 25 wins in the same year. The record is six set in 1979-80.
•Gabe DeVoe scored 22 points in each NCAA Tournament game, the first Clemson player to have consecutive 20 point scoring games since Elden Campbell did it in the 1989 NCAA Tournament when he had 20 points against St. Mary’s then 24 against Arizona. Billy Williams also did in the first two NCAA games in Clemson history. He had 22 vs. Utah State and 24 vs. BYU in the 1980 tournament.
•Clemson won its 25th game of the season Sunday to tie the school record. Clemson, now 25-9, also won 25 in 1986-87, Horace Grant’s senior year and 2006-07 when Clemson finished as a finalist at the NIT (25-11). Clemson won 26 games on the court in 1989-90, but two wins in the NCAA Tournament were vacated.
•This was Clemson’s 10th win away from home this year. It is just one off the school record of 11 in 1996-97.
•This is Clemson’s first Sweet 16 appearance since the 1997 tournament when Clemson won games in Kansas City over Miami (OH) and Tulsa. Clemson reached the Elite 8 in 1980, the furthest Clemson has gone in the tournament. Clemson also reached the Sweet 16 in 1990, but those games were later vacated. So this is the fourth time Clemson has reached the Sweet 16 on the court, but just the third recognized the NCAA.
•In two games in San Diego, Clemson trailed for just 5 minutes and 21 seconds. The Tigers won fast break points 31-4.
•With the victory over Auburn, Clemson is the second school to go to the College Football Playoff and the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in the same academic year. Oklahoma reached the Final Four in both in 2015-16.
•Clemson has now won six consecutive games against SEC teams, 3-0 in 2016-17 and 3-0 this year. Clemson also defeated Florida and South Carolina this year.
•Clemson’s 84 points tonight were the most by the Tigers in an NCAA Tournament game.
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