Clemson lost its fourth straight conference road game despite brilliant second-half performances from forward P.J. Hall and guard Al-Amir Dawes in Atlanta. Georgia Tech dominated early and managed to fend off a furious Tigers rally for a 69-64 victory, Saturday.
Head coach Brad Brownell said Hall “looked slow” in scoring just two points the first half, but the sophomore forward finished strong, putting up 16 points and eight rebounds after intermission. Brownell has been impressed with Hall’s production despite a nagging foot injury that has compromised his preparation and his minutes. Brownell said, “He had to come out when the foot was bothering him but he told me he could go back in for the last few minutes. He knows we’re counting on him. It’s hard right now, he’s not practicing much.”
Brownell also said his club dug themselves such a deep hole, falling behind by as many as 16 points, because they “didn’t get the ball where they needed to get the ball” against the Yellow Jackets zone. The Tigers were able to adjust at halftime, but the damage had been done.
Dawes joined Hall in the comeback effort, hitting five 3-pointers and scoring 15 of his 18 points in the second half.
Clemson (12-10, 4-7) hasn’t won a road game since taking down NC State in Raleigh on Jan. 8th, but the Tigers are 9-2 at Littlejohn Coliseum and are set to embark on a three-game homestand that begins at 6 p.m, Tuesday, against North Carolina.