The Clemson Tigers were unable to shake off a slow start Wednesday night, falling to Norte Dame 72-56 on the road.
Had the Tigers won, it would have been their third straight conference road win for the first time in 25 years. Instead, they fall to 2-3 in ACC play and 10-6 on the season.
In the game’s opening minutes, Clemson’s offense struck first scoring in the first possession, but the 2-0 lead would be their lone one for the night. Notre Dame converted their first six shots in a row, eventually taking a 17-8 lead into the game’s first TV timeout.
Clemson, normally a lights-out team when shooting from deep, found themselves on the opposite end of a scoring barrage. Every other shot the Irish put up was falling and they were quickly running away with the game. To further complicate matters, the Tigers shot just 25 percent from the field and 12 percent from beyond the arc in the first half. All that combined led to a 39-22 halftime deficit for the Tigers.
On the night, Clemson managed just two double-digit scorers, Hunter Tyson and PJ Hall, who finished with 14 and 12 points respectively. Nick Honor, meanwhile, finished with 0 points on six shots from the field.
Still, if there is a positive to be taken away from this game, it’s that Clemson didn’t throw in the towel. Clemson battled to claw their way back into the game, but Notre Dame freshman Blake Wesley caught fire in the final frame, scoring 16 of his career-high 20 points in the second half to quell any prospective comebacks. In the end, the Tigers outscored, outrebounded, and out-assisted Notre Dame in the garbage-time-laden second half.
It’s going to be hard for Clemson to play this poor of a half of basketball again, or at least one would hope. The up-and-down season continues Saturday night at Littlejohn against Boston College.