Orange men struggle in second half, drop regular season finale to Clemson
Orange men struggle in second half, fall to Clemson
After leading at halftime, Syracuse shot just 33 percent from the field in the second half and fell to Clemson at the Littlejohn Coliseum, 67-55.
The game featured poor shooting from both Syracuse (19-12, 10-8) and Clemson (19-12, 9-9). The Tigers started the game by missing its first 13 shots. Luckily for the home team, the Orange had only scored four points by the time Clemson saw one go through the bottom of the net.
With 6:48 left in the first half, the Orange led by 10 after Oshae Brissett knocked down a pair of free throws — which was the largest lead of the game for SU. Clemson cut the lead to five with 47 seconds left, but it was the Cuse that headed to the locker room with momentum as Buddy Boeheim floated a shot over the outstretched arm of a Clemson defender with 14 seconds to go. The Orange led 31-24 at halftime.
It was all Clemson in the second half. The Tigers outscored the Orange 23-7 over the first eight and a half minutes and took a 47-38 lead. The Cuse fought hard to keep Clemson from increasing its lead with a Boeheim four-point play cutting the Tigers’ lead to 49-47 with 8:58 to go. That would be the closest Syracuse would get to retaking the lead. Clemson finished the game on an 18-8 run to win 67-55.
Marquise Reed led the comeback charge for Clemson. He scored 20 of his game-high 24 points in the second half. As a team, the Tigers outscored the Orange by 19 in the second half. To make matters worse, Clemson outrebounded the Cuse 45-25.
Three Syracuse players were in double figures despite the inefficient team performance. Brissett led with 15, Boeheim had 11 and Tyus Battle only mustered 10 points and missed eight of his eleven shots. For Clemson, Elijah Thomas and Shelton Mitchell joined Reed in double figures with 13 and 10 respectively.
Typical high-scorer for the Orange Elijah Hughes finished with zero points in 11 minutes of play after shooting 0-4 from the field.
SU will be the six seed in the ACC tournament and will play at 9 p.m. on Wednesday. The Orange will face the winner of the contest between Boston College and Pittsburgh. The Orange went 4-0 against the Eagles and Panthers this season.