Clemson was handed its first true test of the year and the basketball team passed with flying colors as it took a 96-88 victory Tuesday night at Penn State in the seventh ACC-Big 10 Challenge.
For the first time this season, the Tigers made a nice percentage of its three-point shots, which enabled them to jump to a big lead and hang on down the stretch. Clemson is now 5-0 overall and 5-2 all time
in the competition between the two conferences.
Clemson made 35.7 percent of its long-range shots as
power forward Julius Powell was 4-of-7 from beyond the
arc to finish with 16 points. Guards Shawan Robinson
and Vernon Hamilton also added 16 points each.
"It was a good, solid win for us," Clemson coach
Oliver Purnell said.
The game started out tight as the Tigers held just a
four-point lead at 23-19 with 8:46 left to play in the
first half. But that's when Clemson more or less put
the game to bed.
The Tigers went on a 26-11 run over the rest of the
first half and pulled away for a 49-30 advantage at
"We came out in the first half and with our pressure
we were able to build a big lead," Purnell said.
The second half displayed much the same for the Tigers
as they built a 60-34 lead. And with five minutes to
play, it looked as though it was for the most part
over as Clemson led 84-62.
But that's when Penn State (3-1) made its run. It
eventually closed the gap to eight, which wound up
being the final margin of victory.
"We lost our focus a little bit," Purnell said. "But
we made our free throws when they counted."
Clemson shot 54 percent from the field as a team, but
the distressing part for Purnell is that Penn State
made 52.4 percent of its shots. Nonetheless, it still
goes down as a win on the road over a team from
another major conference.
Clemson basketball head coach Oliver Purnell knows that it's just a matter of time before his team…