The Clemson Tigers (6-6) squandered another opportunity at a quality win today against Yale (10-3), falling 54-45 at Littlejohn Coliseum. Despite shooting an abysmal 31.9 percent from the field, the Tigers had a chance to pull out a comeback victory as the game neared its end.
With just under six minutes in the game, a Hunter Tyson dunk cut the Bulldogs lead to just two points, 42-40. Clemson would not make another field goal until Clyde Trapp’s 3-pointer on the final possession of the game. They made only two free throws during that span.
To be clear, Clemson had no business winning this game. They nearly had more turnovers (13) than field goals (15) and were severely out-rebounded. Adding insult to injury, Yale’s leading rebounder Jordan Bruner, a SC native, spurned the Tigers for Yale back in 2015. Bruner (10 points/13 rebounds) and forward Paul Atkinson (20 points), proved to be a dominant inside presence that could score nearly at will and control the glass.
Clemson’s best interior player, Aamir Simms, finished with 10 points, making just four of his 14 shots, and seven rebounds. The lone bright spot for Clemson was Tyson, who finished with a team-high 11 points on 4-7 shooting. Tyson also somehow managed to be +14, playing 24 minutes in the nine-point loss. No other Tigers scored in double figures.
Kenpom projected a narrow win, so to see Clemson lose in such disheartening fashion isn’t great. The Tigers struggle to score as it is so when their 3-pointers aren’t falling things can get ugly fast. The long season continues with Miami on New Year’s Eve. Hopefully this team can start 2020 a day early and leave these offensive struggles in the past.