REED SAYS GOODBYE TO LITTLEJOHN IN STYLE AS CLEMSON BEATS SYRACUSE 67-55 ON SENIOR DAY
- 2019-03-09 21:08:58
CLEMSON, SC - Things looked dicey for the Tigers at halftime, down 31-24 in their final game of the regular season and a crucial one for their NCAA Tournament hopes. The Tigers were just 7-28 from the field and leading scorer Marcquise Reed had just 4 points. However, they managed to shake off the Senior Day jitters and played with their hair on fire in the second half, scoring 43 points against one of the better defensive teams in the nation. Reed exploded for 20 second-half points, finishing the game with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 5 steals. It was a fantastic Littlejohn crowd despite the noon tip, and the Tigers seemed to feed off their energy in the second half. They finished the season 14-4 at home, with 3 of the losses to highly ranked teams UNC, UVA and FSU.
Brownell probably didn't wake up on Saturday thinking he would be able to call a timeout and clear the bench with 1:30 left, but that's exactly what happened. It was great to see senior guard Lyles Davis be able to play in likely his final game at Littlejohn. The Tigers finish the regular season 9-9 in the nation's top conference, and in my opinion, that's enough for their first return trip to the NCAA Tournament in the Brad Brownell era, regardless of what they do against NC State on Wednesday at the ACC Tournament in Charlotte. Of course, you'd like to see them win that game to remove all doubt, and I'm sure the Tigers are anxious to exact revenge on the team that started a 4-game run of gut-wrenching last-second losses. They led NC State with one second left in Raleigh in their only meeting this season, and Braxton Beverly hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to win the game.
Those heartbreaking losses are well behind them, though, and Brad Brownell said that he believes this team has proven itself worthy of making the NCAA field. The Tigers are 19-12 overall and are ranked in the top 30 according to the Basketball Power Index. They gave now No.3 UNC, which was coming off a thrashing of No.1 Duke in Cameron Indoor, all it could handle a week ago, and would have beaten the Heels if David Skara had played. The Tigers have won 3 of their last 4, including back-to-back road wins. They are now 5-4 all-time against Syracuse.
Post-game interviews with Brownell and Marcquise Reed are below, as well as on-court speeches from Brownell and all 5 seniors!
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