Syracuse used a 9-0 run into halftime that propelled the No. 1 ranked Orange to a 57-44 victory over Clemson on Sunday in the Carrier Dome. It was Syracuse’s first win in three tries against Clemson, who fell to 15-7 on the season and 6-4 in the ACC. Syracuse upped its undefeated mark to 23-0 with a 10-0 record in its first season in the conference.
K.J. McDaniels was responsible for 19 of Clemson’s 44 points. He added 10 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. The 6-foot-6 junior added two blocks in a losing effort. Jaron Blossomgame added seven for the Tigers, with four rebounds. Clemson won the rebound battle 31-29 over Syracuse, who came in one of the better teams in the ACC on the glass. But the Tigers suffered from a 34 percent shooting effort against the Orange’s famous 2-3 zone. Syracuse was led by C.J. Fair, who had 19 points, and Jerami Grant’s 12. The Orange were held 14 points below their season scoring average.
Clemson hung tight for most of the first half. The Tigers were down 10-4 before Rod Hall connected on a four-point play, Clemson’s first in two seasons. Still down 22-18, the Tigers knotted the game at 22 apiece after a tip-in and two free throws by McDaniels. The Orange then held Clemson scoreless for the final four minutes and change to close out the half, as it went on its run. The Tigers were victimized by 10 second chance points off of five Syracuse offensive rebounds in the half, and for 19 points throughout the course of the game.
The second half saw much of the same as the first, with Syracuse pulling ahead by as much as 12 before Clemson whittled the lead down to five at 42-37. The Orange then put together an 8-3 run that culminated with a driving layup by Grant, the younger brother of 2011 Clemson senior Jerai Grant. Minutes later, a deep three by Cooney gave Syracuse its largest lead at 15 with two minutes to play.
The Tigers stay on the road and depart for South Bend, IN after the game. Clemson will face Notre Dame on Tuesday at 7 p.m.