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Clemson hoops tops Pittsburgh 72-48

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After a sloppy first half, the Tigers offense went nuclear and Pitt couldn’t keep up.

NCAA Basketball: Pittsburgh at Clemson Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a sloppy first half, the No. 16 Clemson Tigers dominated the second frame against the Pittsburgh Panthers en route to a 72-48 win.

After scoring just 32 points in the first half, the Tigers offense exploded to start the second, thanks in no small part to an excellent game from Gabe DeVoe. After finishing the first half with just six points, DeVoe exploded and the Tigers offense followed suit. Clemson started the half on a 24-6 run, making more threes (six) than shots attempted by the Panthers (five) in the first six minutes.

“I started out slow and missed my first couple looks,” DeVoe said. “In the second half, I just wanted to come out aggressive. We played a little slow defensively in the first half, I just wanted to open up the lead.”

By the time the game ended, DeVoe had tied his career high, at 25 points, and tied the ACC-season high of seven made threes in a game. He added six boards, one block and one steal.

Even before DeVoe’s second-half show, the Tigers were in a solid position after the first half, partially due to a dominant performance by Elijah Thomas. Thomas, who had six points and six boards at the break, recorded his sixth double-double of the season (10 points, 11 rebounds).

Shelton Mitchell was the only other Tiger to score double-digits in the win, finishing with 10 points and three made three-pointers.

Clemson took an early lead in the game, which was buoyed by poor ball control by Pitt. The Panthers finished the game with 15 turnovers, compared to just eight by Clemson. The lone bright spot for the Panthers was Terrell Brown, who finished with 19 points and eight boards.

Clemson probably could have gotten away with a win if the second half played out like the first, but the Tigers’ offensive explosion has got to be encouraging. In a week when many ranked teams fell, Clemson took care of business and won a game they should have — in impressive fashion. With Duke’s loss at Chapel Hill, the Tigers hold sole possession of 2nd place in the ACC.

The Tigers will look to ride this momentum into a pivotal stretch of the season. Clemson’s next two games are at Florida State on Wednesday and then they will host Marvin Bagley III and Duke next Sunday.