Clemson basketball was once atop the ACC standings, but a three-game losing skid had killed momentum and knocked the Tigers outside of the top three. The remedy? A 40-point home thrashing of rival Florida State, 94-54.
The Tigers (19-7, 11-4 ACC) jumped out to a hot start on Wednesday night, leading 29-12 at the under-eight media timeout and growing their lead to as many as 24 points in the first half. Junior center PJ Hall was already in double digits before that under-eight timeout, and the defense from Clemson forced multiple shot-clock violations on the Seminoles in the first half. Everything was clicking for the Tigers in the first half, including a 60% field goal shooting half and forcing seven turnovers defensively.
At the break, Clemson built a 47-26 lead, capping one of the most dominant halves for the Tigers all season. Clemson shot 40% from three-point land and finished the half seven-for-seven at the free throw line. Perhaps one of the biggest factors overlooked was Clemson’s paint play. The Tigers collected 16 rebounds in the first half, a good sign after being dominated on the boards during their three-game losing streak.
The second half was much the same for Clemson. The Tigers led by as many as 41 points in the half and did not take their foot off the gas en route to the 40-point victory, Clemson’s largest ACC victory in school history. Hall finished with a game-high 20 points and the Tigers picked up their 11th ACC win this season, tying the school record set by the 2017-2018 Sweet 16 team.
Clemson will have the chance to break the school record on Saturday when they travel to Louisville to take on the Cardinals, another must-win game for the Tigers if they look to keep pace in the ACC regular season title hunt and the double-bye in the ACC Tournament. Gametime is set for 7 p.m. on the ACC Network.