Brevin Galloway knocked down two free throws with 00:07 seconds left to play, tying the game at 58-58. South Carolina had one final chance to win the game. The Gamecocks fed Chico Carter Jr. and he delivered, knocking down a fadeaway jumper with one second to spare. An offensive possession that wasn’t great, plus a sub-par shot selection as time was expiring somehow panned out for the Gamecocks. The Tigers fell 60-58 at Colonial Life Arena.
Stop me if you have heard this before: Clemson fails to score 60 points in a narrow defeat. A common theme under the Brownell led teams over the years, haunts the Tigers again. This one stings a little too much. The in-state rivalry game was played with no physicality.
The Tigers were killed on the boards, 50-32. South Carolina had EIGHTEEN more rebounds than Clemson. Eighteen. In a game that is decided by two points, those rebounds really matter. It was comical down the stretch. It became a surprise when the Tigers actually came away with a defensive rebound.
Clemson, who had little to no offense outside of PJ Hall and Chase Hunter, played very poorly. A very winnable game that slipped out of their hands due to their own wrongdoings. Hunter Tyson and Brevin Galloway both got the start in the game, but were limited offensively due to being in early foul trouble. Outside of PJ Hall, the bench scored 2 points, 1-12 from the floor. Putrid.
The field goal percentage for the Tigers as a team was 38%. That accounted for 38 missed shots, shooting 23-61 from the floor. Seven made three-pointers made for an impressive showing, clipping 39% from deep. But shooting nine free throws and missing four of them is a disaster waiting to happen.
PJ Hall, who has been nursing his knee injury all offseason, saw only 22 minutes of action off the bench, fourth highest on the team. The pitch-count will continue to rise for PJ as the season wears on, but the uncertainty surrounding his health will remain an issue. When Hall was on the court he was great, 7-12 shooting, team-high 15 points, and tied the team-high in rebounds with five.
The Gamecocks played substandard basketball as well. As a team, they actually shot the ball at a worse clip than the Tigers, 34% from the field. With them accumulating so many offensive rebounds (19) due to the lackluster glass crashing from the Tigers, they only had eight second-chance points. Like Clemson, they shot a good percentage from three, but struggled mightily at the line. Five-star Freshman, GG Jackson, struggled to find his shot, ending the game with 12 points on 13 attempts. In the end, it was Chico Carter Jr. who killed the Tigers. 16 points on nine shots, four 3-pointers made, and the game-winner.
Clemson will have to go back to the drawing board and take care of business as the rest of the non-conference schedule looms. Losing a game like this could be detrimental when it comes to Selection Sunday in March. Beating up on some mid-majors will be much needed for the Tigers the next three games. They’re back in action on Tuesday against USC Upstate.