Greensboro Coliseum: Clemson overcame a sluggish start, and then did what they had done to NC State two previous times this season…dominate. The Tigers defeated the Wolfpack in the AC Tournament Quarterfinals 80-54 for their third double digit win this season over State and their sixth straight win in the rivalry.
The 26 point margin of victory is the second largest for Clemson in the ACC Tournament trailing the 34 point win over Boston College in 2008. The Tigers advanced to the semi-final round for the first time since 2018 where they will face #2 seed Virginia, the same team they saw in the semis in Brooklyn in 2018.
State had the early edge behind the hot hand of Jarkel Joiner who scored ten points in the first seven minutes but didn’t score again the rest of the night. The Pack led by nine at 20-11 with 10:41 left in the half. The Tigers then made six straight shots and 10 of their last 13 in the half for a 39-36 halftime lead.
PJ Hall picked up his third foul 14 seconds into the second half and went back to the bench, but that did not deter the Tigers. Their lead was 45-42 with 17 minutes to play when they went on a 10-2 run to make it 55-44. After a State basket, the Tigers scored the next 12 points for a 67-46 lead with 7:22 remaining. From that point is was simply a question of how big the final margin would be.
The Tigers won the second half 41-18 by limiting State to 25% shooting including 0-10 from three. Clemson finished with a 50% shooting night including 11 three-pointers. And their bench was impactful outscoring State 20-4.
Hall and Ian Schieffelin led the Tigers with 15 points each, though Hall only played 18 minutes. Hunter Tyson had another double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Chase Hunter had 11 points and nine assists.
Clemson is 23-9 and now has 15 ACC wins on the season. Their game Friday night with Virginia will follow the Miami vs Duke game, meaning all four of the top seeds advanced to the semi-finals.