Clemson clamped down defensively and Nick Honor busted up the famed Syracuse zone en route to a 78-61 win at Littlejohn Coliseum, Saturday. Aamir Simms eclipsed the 1,000 career points mark on his way to 18 points and 11 rebounds. Fellow senior Clyde Trapp also had a strong game. Trapp, following up a14-point performance against UNC, sparked the Tigers with 11 assists and eight rebounds.
Clemson’s first-half defense was suffocating, limiting the Syracuse Orange to 3 of 25 shooting (12%). Meanwhile, Honor made his first three 3-pointers to help stake the Tigers to a 20-point halftime lead. Overall, Honor knocked down 5 of 8 from behind the arc on his way to 15 points. For the second consecutive game, both victories, Honor and Alex Hemenway joined Hunter Tyson, Simms and Trapp in the starting lineup. Honor, hitting on 40% of his 3-pointers this season, was looking forward to facing the Orange, “When you play Syracuse, you know you’re going to see a zone, so that’s a shooter’s paradise.”
As a team, Clemson hit 10 of its 23 shots from long distance. The Tigers also enjoyed an advantage on the glass, outrebounding Syracuse 42-25.
Head coach Brad Brownell was effusive in his praise of Simms during his postgame comments, “Great player, great person, hard worker. He’s worked extremely hard these last two years to continue to get comfortable doing things he hasn’t done throughout his life. He takes a special talent to do what he does.”
Clemson (12-5, 6-5) winners of back-to-back home games, will finish off the three-game homestand against Georgia Tech, Friday.