Clemson played top ranked Duke to a seven point game (40-33) in the first half in Cameron Indoor Stadium Saturday night, but that’s where hope died for the Tigers as the Blue Devils pulled away in the second half to an 87-68 win in the ACC opener for both teams. It’s the 17th straight loss for Clemson at Cameron where the Tigers have won just four times in history.
Clemson stayed within reach of the Blue Devils over the first 20 minutes by shooting 50% from the floor including 3-4 from three point range. But Duke scored the first 14 points of the second half to balloon the lead to 21 points. The Blue Devils stretched it out to 27 points by midway in the second half and the final margin of 19 was a close as Clemson would get.
The Tigers shot just 37% in the second half to the Blue Devils 50%. Their 8 turnovers in the half were turned into 15 Duke points. Clemson had 19 turnovers for the game which the Blue Devils converted into 27 points. Duke had just 12 turnovers which Clemson turned into 11 points.
Marcquise Reed led Clemson with 15 points. Elijah Thomas added 14. Aamir Simms, who entered the game shooting 52% from the floor and averaging 10 points per game, suffered thru a 1-11 shooting performance for 2 points. He did grab a team high 10 rebounds.
Spartanburg’s Zion Williamson led Duke with 25 points and 10 rebounds for his 3rd 20-10 game and 6th double-double of his young career. Four other Blue Devils scored in double figures as well.
The Tigers fall to 10-4 overall and play at Syracuse Wednesday night at 8:00 PM on the ACC regional network.