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Tigers Pick Up Huge Win

I don't think many people thought we'd be sitting at 6-4 through 10 games after losing 3 straight to Michigan, Sakerlina, and FSU.  I don't think many people would've predicted a Tigers win if they knew Reggie Jackson and Joe Trapani were going to go for a combined 49 points on 50% shooting.  Somehow, some way, this team just finds a way to get it done.

Demontez Stitt and Jerai Grant did their best to match Jackson and Trapani, finishing with a conbined 33 points on an extremely efficient 18 shots.  Stitt stepped up big in key situations, driving to the basket instead of settling for jumpers.  Grant was nearly unstoppable when he got the ball down low, which frankly, wasn't often enough.  He was on his way to having a monster game before sitting on the bench for a long stretch in the 2nd half.  He scored his 17 points in only 27 minutes of action.

The difference in this game, offensively, was that Clemson had a supporting cast for Stitt and Grant, while BC had little help for Jackson and Trapani.  Andre Young and Tanner Smith both stepped up and scored in double figures.  Young was especially clutch, hitting a huge floater in the lane and 3 in the corner down the stretch to help seal the victory.  Young's 3 in the corner was one of those "nooooooo.....yes!" shots, as he shot it with so much time left on the shot clock when Clemson was attempting to run clock.

More after the jump.

The Tigers still go through long cold spells on offense, but luckily the defense has been there this year to help bail them out.  Tonight was no different.  At one point in the 1st half Clemson went nearly 7 minutes without a bucket.  But the Tigers defense kept them in the game.  I haven't seen Clemson play with that much tenacity and energy on defense yet this year.  They were hounding defenders and forcing contested shots.  Occasionally BC would knock down tough shots, but I credit Trapani and Jackson for making good offensive plays. 

My biggest complaint in this game is the number of offensive rebounds we allowed.  It can be somewhat explained by BC's tendency to shoot outside jumpers, which usually lead to long rebounds.  But I also think it is a lack of hustle and effort in some instances.  After playing hard-nosed defense for 30 seconds, it seems as though we believe once the shot goes up their work is done.  I know Jennings becomes an easy target, but 1 rebound in 21 minutes is pathetic.  Zavier Anderson grabbed 2 boards in 8 minutes of action!  That's gotta improve between now and Saturday because UNC attacks the glass hard.

Other than offensive rebounding, Clemson's stat sheet looks very solid.  Check out the turnover percentage in the chart below....not too shabby.