NEWARK, N.J. — Sophomore forward Aamir Simms scored a career-high 23 points on 9-for-15 shooting, but Clemson University men’s basketball fell to No. 22 Mississippi State by a score of 82-71 in the Never Forget Tribute Classic on Saturday evening.
The Tigers (6-3) were led by Simm’s 23 points, but also paced by Elijah Thomas who finished with 18 points and a team-leading eight rebounds. Thomas finished 8-for-9 from the floor in the contest and has now made 28-of-his-last-36 shots from the field.
David Skara also scored in double-figures for the Tigers and recorded 12 points on an efficient 5-for-6 from the floor.
Clemson found itself down by as many as 19 points in the opening stanza, 38-19, with 3:59 to go in the half. Despite the Bulldogs’ hot-shooting performance, the Tigers were resilient and were able to close the gap to five points on three occasions in the second half but could not get over the hump.
As a team, the Bulldogs (8-1) shot an ultra-impressive 19-for-30 from downtown, which proved to be the ultimate difference maker in the contest.
Mississippi State’s Lamar Peters (28) and Quinndary Weatherspoon (20) led the charge for the Bulldogs.
Clemson will return to the floor next Saturday, Dec. 15 when it hosts Radford at 3 p.m.
Notes: Aamir Simms scored a career-high 23 points … Simms’ nine made field goals were a career-best … Simms also knocked down four triples in the contest which served as a career-high … Elijah Thomas netted a season-high 18 points … Thomas’ eight made field goals were a season-high … Thomas swatted a season-high three shots … Thomas now has five blocks in his last two games … Shelton Mitchell posted a season-high seven assists in the contest … Trey Jemison scored his first career points – both coming from the foul line.