Clemson’s last win over North Carolina before their 82-78 victory Tuesday night at LIttlejohn Coliseum came three months to the day before Brad Brownell was hired on April 13th, 2010. So, the victory not only snapped the team’s ten game losing streak to the Tar Heels, it also was Brownell’s first in the series.
The Tigers lived by the three point shot, and they were saved by the three point shot. The Tigers first eight buckets were threes. Their last shot of the first half was a three. They hit ten in the first 20 minutes and led 44-28 at the break.
That lead, of course, vanished in the second half as the Tar Heels shot 64%. A Joel Berry jumper at the 2:05 mark tied the game at 74. But the Tigers did not wilt.
Marcquise Reed gave the lead right back to Clemson with his third three pointer of the game. After Cam Johnson missed for the Tar Heels, Gabe Devoe recovered an offensive rebound that led to an Elijah Thomas layup with :29 left that made it 79-74.
Shelton Mitchell made the lead stand up with four free throws and the Tigers secured their second straight ACC win and their 12th win at home this season against no defeats.
Clemson nailed a season high 15 threes out of 30 attempts. Devoe had five of them but it was Reed who led the Tigers with 20 points. Johnson, who had six three pointers against Clemson in the win in Chapel Hill two weeks ago, had six more in this one and finished with a career high 32 points. Berry added 27.
The Tigers improved to 18-4 and 7-3 in the ACC. The RPI according to Live-RPI was still at 5 following the game. North Carolina fell to 16-7 and 5-5 in the ACC with its third straight loss, the Tar Heels’ longest losing streak since the 2014 season.
Brad Brownell post game press conference
Roy Williams on his team’s problems defending the three
Gabe Devoe and Shelton Mitchell talk about the win