In a rematch of the opening round of last season’s NCAA Tournament, Clemson was unable to exact revenge. The Tigers fell 74-64 to Rutgers in the ACC/BIG Ten Challenge at Jersey Mike’s Arena in Piscataway, N.J. Despite David Collins turning in his …
In a rematch of the opening round of last season’s NCAA Tournament, Clemson was unable to exact revenge.
The Tigers fell 74-64 to Rutgers in the ACC/BIG Ten Challenge at Jersey Mike’s Arena in Piscataway, N.J.
Despite David Collins turning in his most impressive performance in a Clemson uniform — he recorded a double-double with 18 points and 10 boards — the Tigers were unable to overcome an ice-cold first half, while also losing their best player to foul trouble.
While Clemson played exceptional defense throughout the course of the first half, the Tigers experienced similar struggles that have plagued them through the season’s first seven games.
Clemson went on a five-minute scoring drought in which it missed 10 consecutive shots. The Tigers finished the first frame shooting 9-of-27 from the field and 1-of-9 from beyond the arc.
What the Tigers struggled with the most was finding a way to attack Rutgers’ zone defense. While they had plenty of good looks, they just couldn’t find a way to finish.
They finally got those shots to start falling, as Clemson had a much better shooting performance in the second frame, finishing the game 23-of-59 from the field and 4-of-17 from deep.
And with just over 12 minutes remaining, they even got the lead down to just 1. Instead of letting Clemson take advantage of the momentum created, Rutgers didn’t flinch. The Scarlet Knights changed their fortunes and were able to take control of the game from there.
Nick Honor scored Clemson’s first points of the game, making a 3-point shot with 16 minutes and 50 seconds remaining in the first half. The Tigers then missed 10 straight shots from deep before Collins hit a crucial shot from the top of the key.
Al-Amir Dawes, who was held scoreless well into the second half, hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions, capping off a 13-4 run.
While Clemson made its run, it’s only fair to assume that Rutgers would do the same.
In the first half, Clemson turned over the ball six times and saw three of its starters — Collins, P.J. Hall, and Hunter Tyson — all pick up two fouls in the game’s first 20 minutes.
At the beginning of the second half, Hall instantly picked up his third foul. However, Brownell left him in the game, hoping that his best player could get Clemson back into the game, and then he picked up his fourth foul shortly thereafter.
With 18:26 remaining in the game, Hall went to the bench. He didn’t re-enter the game for another 10 minutes.
After starting 2-of-9 from the field, Hall bounced back to finish with 10 points on 5-of-13 shooting. He fouled out with 4:07 remaining in the game on a foul call that was questionable, to say the least.
His absence down the stretch proved to be crucial against a physical Scarlet Knights team that has a lot of size and length.
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