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Tigers Top Gamecocks 72-67, Improve to 8-0

The Clemson Tigers outlasted the Gamecocks for a gritty win in Littlejohn Coliseum.

NCAA Basketball: South Carolina at Clemson Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

A physical contest of undefeated squads in Littlejohn Coliseum saw the Tigers shake off an 11-point deficit to prevail over their in-state rivals on Wednesday night, thanks to a career-high 15 points from Chauncey Wiggins and a double-double from Ian Schieffelin.

After a quick start put the Gamecocks up 10-2 early in the first half, Clemson settled down and pulled even at 13-13. South Carolina’s Meechie Johnson drained several buckets to spark an 8-0 run, but Clemson again responded via physical defense and a few clutch buckets from Girard to tie things up at 23-23.

Clemson wouldn’t score again in the half though, going 0-8 on their attempted FGs, and the Gamecocks took a 7-point lead into the break.

The constant back-and-forth ebb to the game continued, as South Carolina pushed their lead to 44-33 out of the half before Clemson stormed back with an 11-0 run of their own.

With just over nine minutes to play, Ian Schieffelin and PJ Hall set up a nice screen to allow Beadle the easy layup for Clemson’s first lead since the early first half. Chauncey Wiggins then hit two 3-pointers back-to-back a few moments later and suddenly the Tigers were in control. Schieffelin would pick up his fourth foul with just 5:34 remaining but responded by knocking down a 3-pointer and then dunking another 2 off the pass from Girard.

Wiggins attempted another 3-pointer with two minutes to play and missed. PJ Hall fought for the critical rebound and was fouled. Hall made the first free throw, but missed the second FT attempt. Clemson secured the offensive rebound and Chase Hunter knocked down a dagger 3-pointer to give the Tigers their largest lead of the night at 65-59. Hunter struggled most of the night but came up clutch late.

Clemson made several boneheaded mistakes in the final 90 seconds including a five-second inbounding violation and a bad Joe Girard turnover, but the Gamecocks failed to capitalize. South Carolina missed too many free throws over the last few minutes of game time while Clemson mostly hit theirs, and the Tigers clinched an impressive 72-67 victory over the Gamecocks.

The win pushes the Tigers to 8-0. Clemson will face TCU on Saturday in Toronto.