Michigan rode a strong first half performance to a 69-61 win over Clemson in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge Tuesday night at Littlejohn Coliseum. The Wolverines broke a 3-3 tie and never trailed the rest of the game.
The Tigers dug themselves a big first half hole trailing by as much as 18 points. They were down 40-24 at the break. Clemson shot just 27% in the first half to Michigan’s 15-25 (60%). The Wolverines dominated the Tigers inside with 24 points in the paint to Clemson’s 12.
Clemson made an early second half run and was down by just eight points with 10:30 to play. But the Wolverines withstood the charge and got the lead back up into double digits. The Tigers never got closer than seven the rest of the way.
Andre Young led Clemson with 14 points. The Tigers shot 36.5% from the floor. They were 7-29 from three point range.
Freshman Evan Smotrycz, who was averaging six points per game coming in, led Michigan with a career high 18 points. Michigan cooled off in the second half and finished with a 45% shooting night. But they did beat the Tigers up inside scoring 30 points in the paint.
Clemson falls to 5-2 and will play Sunday afternoon at USC. Michigan improves to 4-2.