ATLANTA — No. 20 Clemson came out on the losing end of a matchup with Georgia Tech on Wednesday. The Yellow Jackets knocked down 16 3-pointers and defeated the Tigers 83-65 at McCamish Pavilion.
In addition to netting 52.1 percent of their shots from the field and 85.7 percent of their free throws, the Tigers (9-3, 3-3) drained nine 3-pointers for a balanced shooting performance. Georgia Tech (7-3, 3-1) finished with a field goal percentage of 57.4 and fared well from behind the 3-point line, making 16-of-26 treys. Clemson won the rebounding battle 28-18 and racked up 30 points in the paint. The Tigers also collected 17 bench points and 16 assists.
Aamir Simms led Clemson with 19 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the floor and 1-of-1 shooting at the free throw line. He also corralled five rebounds and tallied three assists. Clyde Trapp made six field goals and blocked two shots, both of which tied his previous career highs, and finished with 14 points and seven boards. John Newman III made 5-of-8 shots and scored 12 points to go along with his four rebounds. Nick Honor made three shots from beyond the arc and recorded 10 points off the bench.
In the early goings, Al-Amir Dawes and Trapp made threes on back-to-back possessions, with Trapp’s trey putting Clemson up 8-5. Honor went on to hit a couple of 3-pointers of his own on consecutive possessions, one of which came from way downtown. A combined 15 three-balls were made in a first half that ended with the Yellow Jackets taking a 44-35 lead into the locker room.
Alex Hemenway helped the Tigers produce a 7-0 run during the second half. After sinking a 3-pointer from the corner, Hemenway came up with a steal that led to a Newman layup out of the fast break. Newman dunked it home the next time Clemson had the ball, thus capping off the 7-0 surge. Georgia Tech maintained its lead throughout the second half, though, and ultimately won 83-65.
Clemson will remain on the road to take on Florida State (8-2, 4-1) at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center on Saturday, Jan. 23. On Tuesday, Dec. 29, the Tigers defeated the Seminoles 77-67 at home. Saturday’s contest in Tallahassee, Fla., will tip off at 3 p.m. and air on ABC.
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Head Coach Brad Brownell
Opening statement:“Our turnovers and [Georgia Tech’s] 3-pointers were the two things that stuck out. Offensively, we were really good against the zone early in the game, but Georgia Tech was good on offense, too. Their guards are elite players who can really play with great confidence and pace. I didn’t think we guarded the ball very well, and their guys started making shots. We need to reexamine some things we’re doing defensively.”
On the keys to the game:“Committing 20 turnovers really hurt us. We scored easily early on, but we weren’t getting stops. The game was too comfortable for both teams, and Georgia Tech did a better job of tightening up. We didn’t execute well enough tonight.”