Clemson Takes Control of the ACC with a Win Over Duke
Clemson takes control of the ACC if they defeat Duke at home today. The Tigers lead over the rest of the ACC will be two full games, if they defeat the Blue Devils for just the 33rd time. It also continues the Tigers best ever ACC start, improving them to 7-0.
To extend their best ever conference start the Tigers must do two things: limit Duke to one shot, and value the basketball. Knowing block out responsibilities will be crucial, as Clemson may play more zone, since Duke is not a great three point shooting team. The Tigers must not allow Duke to get easy transition baskets. Live ball turnovers fueled the Blue Devils comeback against Pittsburgh Wednesday.
At the offensive end the Tigers must find a way to shoot well against an excellent Duke defense. Keeping PJ Hall out of foul trouble will be key as well. Hall guards Duke’s center Kyle Filipowski and will have his hands full doing so.
Tigers Must Overcome Early Nerves and Excitement Against Duke
PJ Hall starts strong with five points and two early rebounds. The Tigers start 0-3 from despite good looks. Two early turnovers must concern Head Coach Brad Brownell as well. Both turnovers were deal ball, however, enabling Clemson to set its defense.
Duke fights back to tie the game behind Filipowski. His three pointer is the only one of the game, as the teams combine to start 1-8 from long range. At the second dead ball timeout the teams combine to shoot 8-24, 33.3%, and have eight turnovers. Ben Middlebrooks wide open dunk is the only made field goal, outside of Hall’s 3-5 start. The rest of the team combines to go 1-8.
Hall moves into double figures with a short jumper. Chase Hunter’s first points come off a transition layup and free throw. The Tigers leading scorer, Hunter Tyson, has just one field goal attempt in the first twelve minutes. Filipowski scores to cut Clemson’s lead to two. The Tigers lead, mostly due to their 14-10 rebounding lead.
Tyson and Hunter Must Spur Better Clemson Offense
Hunter and Tyson combine for four of the Tigers six turnovers. They only have 1 made field goal in six attempts as well. Hall makes the Clemson’s first three of the game, but misses his next attempt. Duke’s defense continues to be tight against everyone else. Tyrese Proctor’s three gives Duke its first lead 23-20.
Hall’s jumper over Dereck Lively ends an 8-0 Duke run. Proctor hits another three to extend the lead to four. Lively’s transition dunk off a three point miss by Ian Schiefflelin gives the Blue Devils a 28-22 lead with 3:18 left in the first half.
Hall’s and one layup cuts the Blue Devils lead to four, 32-28. His 18 keep Clemson in the game, despite poor shooting from everyone else. Brevin Galloway’s foul on Jaylen Blakes’ helps stretch Duke’s lead to 34-30 at thethe half.
Tigers Need Better Ball and Player Movement in the Second Half
If Clemson wins this game it needs better ball and player movement. They must not force shoots, and give up long rebounds to Duke. Long rebounds can help fuel a transition offense as much as live ball turnovers. Hall’s shooting 7-12, while the rest of team goes 5-17 from the field. Hunter and Tyson combine to go 1-8. Jacob’s Granderson defense on Tyson deserves mention. Duke’s guard denies Tyson the ball, and limits him to 0-2 in the first half.
Filipowski picks up a quick offensive foul, his third but he stays in the game. Tyson’s backdoor layup gives him his first two of the game. He gets free for a dunk, and looks much more active to start the half. Proctor and Filipowski helps stretch the lead out to six 42-36. The Tigers have trouble getting to loose balls and finishing defensive possessions.
Two goaltending calls cut Duke’s lead to four. Josh Beadle’s scrappiness helps fuel an 8-0 run to tie the game at 44. Filipowski’s putback of his own miss gives Duke the lead at the under 12 timeout. His 15 and 12 leads Duke right now.
Tigers Must Continue to Fight to Beat Duke
Huge change of a call as Ben Middlebrooks gets an and-one on a short jumper. Ryan Young was in the restricted area. Duke’s offensive rebounding, particularly Filipowski’s, helps Duke grab a five point lead, 52-47 with 9:16 left.
Proctor’s very tough layup makes the lead 54-51. Hall now moves to 24 with a hook shot inside. Galloway’s three, only their third of the game gives Clemson the lead. His layup forces a Duke timeout. Clemson leads 58-54 with 5:38 left.
Middlebrooks two quick fouls give him four for the game. The Sophomore forward continues to battle hard against Filipowski, but RJ Godfrey may need to come in to help defend the Duke center down the stretch. Duke now takes the lead on the boards, 34-33, 12-8 on the offensive glass.
Schieffelin and Galloway Give Tigers a Huge Lift, Brownell His 400th Win
Schieffelin and Galloway help Clemson to a six point lead, 65-59 with 1:17 left. Duke’s failed to make field goal in four-and-a-half minutes. Middlebrooks fouls out with 47.9 left. Filipowski immediately fouls out afterwards, as he reaches in on Tyson.
Schieffelin’s defense held Filipowski to just 8-22 from the field. Galloway’s 12 second half points offset rough offensive nights from Hunter and Tyson. Galloway shoots 7-14 for 17 huge points. Duke fails to make a field goal for the last 5:07 of the game. The Tigers only surrendered three second half turnovers, keeping Duke from getting easy transition offense.
The 72-64 win moves Clemson to 7-0 in the ACC, two games ahead of the rest of the conference, for the first time ever. Clemson takes control of the game late with its typical tough defense, giving Brownell his 400th career win. Clemson found a way to get him that win despite 15 offensive rebounds from Duke, 11 in the second half. The ability of the Tigers to dig in on more than one offensive possession helped them win the game.
After winning against Duke Clemson should be ranked Monday. The two early losses to South Carolina and Loyola-Chicago may not be completely erased, but they are further in the rearview mirror. Up next Clemson faces an improving Wake Forest team that shot lights out against Florida State Wednesday. If Clemson wants to validate its newly ranked status they will need to pick up a tough conference road win.
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