Along with their largest ACC point total of the regular season, Clemson basketball’s Rod Hall reached his career-high points on Tuesday night with 20 points against NC State. Hall was one of three players to score in the double digits during the matchup. The 73-56 win over NC State broke Clemson’s three game losing streak and improved their season record to 16-9 and their ACC record to 7-6. They also improved their high score against an ACC team with 73, passing the 72 points they scored against Duke in January.
Rod Hall made 6-of-10 shots during the game as well as all eight of his free throws. Damarcus Harrison put up 14 points, four rebounds, and two steals. The Tigers’ leading scorer, K.J. McDaniels was held to only 12 points, but also made six of Clemson’s nine blocks. He now has 72 blocked shots this season. Overall, the team shot 48 percent as a team and held NC State to 38 percent in the second half after they opened the first half shooting 55 percent. The ACC’s leading scorer T.J. Warren put up 20 points but also committed six turnovers.
Clemson opened the first half 7-0 but NC State led 33-32 going into halftime. The Tigers led for the majority of the half but struggled during the last five minutes when NC State was very successful from the free throw line and Warren’s layup with five seconds left gave the Pack their first and only lead of the game.
In the second half, Clemson opened with 11 of the first 13 points scored and then remained ahead for the conclusion of the game. They finished the game with a 17-point lead and their first win since Georgia Tech on Feb. 4. They overcame a halftime deficit to win the game for the fourth time this season.
“It was a really good second half by our team tonight,” said head coach Brad Brownell.
For the second game in a row, Clemson shot over 80 percent from the free throw line. This season is the first time in the 61 years that Clemson has been in the ACC that they have led the conference in free throw percentage.
Looking towards the NCAA Tournament, Clemson’s future doesn’t seem too bright. Jerry Palm, a Bracketologist for CBSSports.com, has said that Clemson almost needs to win out the regular season to even be considered as tournament contenders.
Clemson’s schedule still contains matchups against Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, and Miami, which could all prove to be difficult potential wins. The toughest remaining games are against Maryland and Pittsburgh, though both at home which could help turn them in favor of the Tigers.