Tech’s men’s basketball lost its fourth straight game on Sunday at No. 10 Clemson, 73- 59. With the loss, the Jackets fall to below .500 to 9-10 and are still winless in the ACC.
Sophomore forward Gani Lawal led the team in both points and rebounds with 14 and 10 respectively for his 12th double-double of the season. Lawal is No. 36 in Division I basketball for field goal percentage, shooting 55.6 percent. He is also No. 16 in rebounds per game, averaging 10.4. Senior center Alade Aminu and junior forward Zachery Peacock also hit double-digit points with 12 and 10 respectively.
The Jackets started out the game with a 7-0 run with Peacock contributing four and freshman point guard Iman Shumpert picking up a three. But Clemson rebounded to go on an 11-0 run to take a four point lead. There were four more lead changes in the half. Clemson went on a 6-0 run at the end of the half to go into the locker room with a three-point lead.
“I thought we settled too much on the jumper, and in the first half we made poor post feeds. There were matchups we wanted to take advantage of but didn’t. There were wide-open shots that we didn’t make, and that was the difference in being able to withstand the run,” said Head Coach Paul Hewitt.
Clemson continued to build off of its momentum at the start of the second half. With 11:50 to play in the game, the Tigers had accumulated an 18-point lead over the Jackets. During the time of the run, the Jackets committed seven turnovers and four fouls and made only one shot from the field, a three-pointer by Shumpert.
“Clemson is a pretty good team. They had that one run that put distance between us. We had opportunities and couldn’t take advantage of them,” Hewitt said.
The Jackets failed to get the Tigers down to single digits for the remainder of the game. Tech shot just below 40 percent from the field in the first half and just above the mark for the second. But the number of shots Tech took from the field dropped from 33 in the first half to 24 in the second.
The Jackets were able to shoot about 70 percent from the free throw for the game, but the Tigers were able to put up a similar percentage and also got over twice as many looks from the line as Tech, with Tech shooting only 14 free throws to Clemson’s 31.
Sophomore guard Terrence Oglesby led the Tigers with 18 points. Junior forward Trevor Booker picked up a double-double for the Tigers with 11 rebounds and 11 points. Senior center Skyes Raymond also hit double-digit points for Clemson with 10 points.
The Jackets return to Alexander Memorial Coliseum tomorrow when they take on No. 6 Wake Forest for the first of two meetings between the teams this season. On Thursday the Jackets travel down to Tallahassee to take on Florida State.
“It is not a good situation to be 0-6, but we just have to get ready for the next game,” Hewitt said.