Tevin Mack scored a career high 32 points, Clyde Trapp hit the game winning basket with two seconds to play, and Clemson survived a final desperation shot by the ACC’s leading scorer Elijah Hughes in a 71-70 win over Syracuse Tuesday night at Littlejohn Coliseum. Clemson improved to 11-9 and 5-5 in the ACC. Syracuse saw its five game winning streak end and falls to 13-8 and 6-4 in the league.
Inside Clemson’s win over Syracuse
- Both teams had comfortable leads only to see the other catch up and go ahead. Clemson led by 9 in the first half, and Syracuse had a 10 point second half lead at 45-35.
- Columbia natives Mack and Trapp sparked the Clemson second half rally combining to score 32 of the Tigers final 36 points. Mack carried the load with 21 of those points, but Trapp got the game winner, taking a feed from Khavon Moore and putting in a layup with two seconds to play. Trapp finished with a career high 17 points.
- Syracuse had one last shot a victory. The in-bounds pass was knocked out of bounds by Mack in front of the Orange bench with .9 to play. Jim Boeheim worked a play for Hughes to come around the circle for a catch and shoot. But his momentum carried Hughes away from the basket at the catch and his attempt didn’t have enough to reach the basket as time expired.
- Mack was surgical in the lane, especially in the second half, as Brad Brownell positioned him down low along the baseline then had him flash into the high post. Against the Syracuse 2-3 zone, the Tigers fed Mack in the paint and he responded time and again. Seven of his made baskets were layups and a dunk, most of the others were mid-range jumpers in the lane. He also hit one three-pointer, 7 of 8 free throws and had 10 boards.
- Clemson finished with 32 points in the paint, 26 in the second half.
- The Tigers won despite not getting much offensive production from leading scorer Aamir Simms. His only points came on a jumper with 1:11 to play. He did have 7 rebounds and 3 assists and played excellent defense according to Brownell.
- Clemson has been a poor free throw shooting team but hit 10-12 from the line against Syracuse. The Tigers won the boards 36-26 and had 17 assists on their 26 baskets. Clemson had twice the number of turnovers at 16-8.
- Final Stats
Brad Brownell postgame press conference
Tevin Mack and Clyde Trapp postgame press conference
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim postgame press conference