Just a few days after getting a much needed win over North Carolina the Tigers have looked like a team that is beginning to get their swagger back.
The Tigers blew out Syracuse 78-61 in Littlejohn Coliseum and improve on what many think is going to be a season that sees them in the NCAA Tournament.
“I’m really proud of my players for the way we competed and played this week,” Brad Brownell said after the win. “This was a really good bounce back week for us after our game at Duke. Played incredibly well in the first half, minus a few turnovers, but just played with good offensive confidence. Had some balls go in. Our defense was outstanding.”
Clemson jumped out to a double digit lead in the first half and never looked back after taking a 39-19 lead into halftime. They were once again led by an outstanding defensive performance, got some good shots on the offensive side and took advantage by hitting on a lot of them.
The one blemish in the game was the Tigers once again turned the ball over 16 times while causing Syracuse to turn it over eight times. That has been plaguing Clemson, especially during league play. However, over the past couple of games it hasn’t hurt them much.
The Tigers were led by Amir Simms with 18 points and 11 rebounds. He eclipsed 1,000 career points in the first half.
“It’s definitely been a journey I think,” Simms said. “With this type of program, you definitely got to pay your dues and do the dirty work for a while. Then as the time comes, you know you’re prospering to that player and I think that’s what’s transpired here with myself and others in the past. But it’s definitely a blessing to join those guys that came before me, kind of paved the way for me to kind of reach that milestone.”
Clyde Trapp only had two points in the game but gathered nine rebounds and had a career high 11 assists. Nick Honor also helped out tremendously with his hot hand, especially from behind the three point line, scoring 15 points in the game.
Clemson held Syracuse to shooting 30% from the field and 25% from behind the three point line while shooting 52.9% from the field and 43.5% from behind the three point line themselves in what was truly an all-around dominant win by the Tigers.
Next up for Clemson is a rematch with Georgia Tech. The Tigers host the Yellow Jackets on Friday night with tipoff set for 8pm.