Tigers Smack ‘Pack; Get Back In Hunt For NCAA Tournament

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Clemson Men’s Basketball got back in the win column with a 73-56 victory over the North Carolina State Wolfpack. The Tigers opened with a 7-0 run, but saw their lead dwindle and eventually entered the locker room at halftime trailing 33-32. The Tigers came out to warm up for the second half a few minutes later than their opponents, but it looks as if whatever was said in the locker room paid off. Clemson out scored State 41-23 in the second half. KJ McDaniels added another double digit performance with 12 points, but for the first time in a while, he was not the leading scorer. Rod Hall, the Tigers’ starting point guard, led the team with 20 points and shooting guard Demarcus Harrison added 14 points. After missing last game with the flu, center Landry Nnoko came off the bench to add 9 points and 6 rebounds. The sea of orange in Littlejohn greeted Nnoko with a warm welcome back when he came in for Sidy Djitte, who was given the start for the night. The student sections, equipped with free headbands from Coca Cola Zero and free t shirts from local apartment complex the Pier, contributed their noise to help rattle the Wolfpack. NC State, as a team, shot 64% on free throws, and that low number could be attributed to the raucous students, particularly the pep band, who continued to use their cut outs of the heads of various Clemson Basketball figures, celebrities, and internet memes to distract opposing free throw shooters at the line. KJ McDaniels added fuel to the fire with 6 blocks and a few of his trademark “Sportscenter” slam dunks. The combination was too much for the ‘Pack, who dropped to 6-7 in the ACC, and the number eight spot in the conference standings. The win gives Clemson a 7-6 conference mark and allowed the Tigers to break the tie with NC State and grab sole control of the sixth spot in the ACC. Clemson now moves back into the NCAA Tournament “bubble” conversation with the victory. The Tigers will hit the road Saturday to play rival Georgia Tech in Atlanta.