The Clemson Tigers secured their first ACC win of the season with a 72-60 victory over Georgia Tech at Littlejohn on Wednesday night.
Marcquise Reed powered the Tigers to an early 14-2 lead, scoring nine of Clemson’s first 14 points. Clemson continued to dominate GT early on, ballooning its lead to as much as 19 points with nine minutes left in the first half. Reed was the conduit for Clemson’s offense, finishing with a career-high 30 points on 10-13 from the field. Enjoy some of Reed’s work:
After the strong start Clemson slowed down, allowing Georgia Tech to battle back into the game. The break came at the perfect time for the Tigers, who were reeling after GT closed the half on a 9-0 run.
Leading just 35-30 to start the second half, Clemson came out strong. They immediately pushed their lead back to 12 before allowing Tech to score. Georgia Tech only cut its deficit to single-digits twice, both times within the final three minutes of the game.
Overall, it was a solid performance by the Tigers, who desperately needed a conference win. They held Tech to below 50 percent shooting from the field and won the rebounding and turnover battles. GT boasts one of KenPom’s highest-rated defenses in the nation so it’s encouraging that Clemson was able to score at will for stretches of the game.
On an individual level, David Skara had a stellar game. He played the full 40 minutes, providing lock down defense on GT’s point guard Jose Alvarado to just 10 points on 3-9 shooting. Alvarado has been Georgia Tech’s best offensive player. He had scored 39 points on 11-17 in the two previous games combined, but the 6’8” Skara was able to bother him all night. Skara also scored nine points, draining three shots from deep.
@skara_david #CroatianSensation pic.twitter.com/OoKyNq9GRQ— Clemson Basketball (@ClemsonMBB) January 17, 2019
If Skara can consistently contribute knockdown shooting while locking up opposing guards then he immediately raises the ceiling of this team. The Tigers need outside shooting and anything helps.
Looking ahead, Clemson travels to face #11 FSU followed by #17 NC State on the road next week.