Clemson came up short in its first big test of the basketball season Thursday night in Orlando falling to 16th ranked Gonzaga 57-49 in the Old Spice Classic. The Tigers came apart defensively in the second half allowing a 69% shooting half. And their own offensive woes didn’t help. Clemson went almost four minutes without scoring allowing the Zags to go from a 41-39 lead to a 47-39 lead with 4:23 left.
The Tigers never got closer than six points the rest of the way. Freshman guard Adonis Filer was their only weapon in the final minutes as he scored their final eight points. He led the Tigers with 10 points on a night they shot only 31%.
“Our effort was outstanding,” Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. “I thought our guys played extremely hard, competed and followed the gameplan fairly well. You have to shoot better. We got the ball into the paint a bunch and got a bunch of shots around the basket that we didn’t make. As they started tightening that up a little bit, we had some threes and we didn’t make any. Can’t beat good teams like this without that.”
AUDIO: Brad Browell interview with Pete Yannity [6:51]
The Tigers are now 2-1 while Gonzaga improves to 4-0. Clemson will play UTEP Friday afternoon at 5:30 PM on ESPNU. Gonzaga will play Oklahoma Friday night.