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Clemson Basketball

Inability to hit free throws proves costly in loss for Clemson at NC State

January 18, 2020
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RALEIGH, N.C. -- The last time Clemson basketball was in PNC Arena back in January 2019, Braxton Beverly’s three-pointer at the buzzer broke the Tigers’ heart. This year, Beverly wasn’t much of a factor until his late three-point dagger squashed Clemson’s comeback attempt in the Wolfpack’s 60-54 win over the Tigers on Saturday.

The first half was one of runs for both teams. After trailing 5-0, Clemson went on an 11-0 run out of the gate. NC State soon answered with a 19-4 run as the Tigers could not buy a basket due to aggressive play from the Pack.

During the same stretch, Clemson’s free throw woes began to show up and never went away. The Tigers were abysmal from the charity stripe shooting just 9-of-23 (39%). Brad Brownell’s squad survived less than stellar shooting at the line in Tuesday night’s upset over No. 3 Duke, but it caught up with them on the road in Raleigh.

Trailing 36-24 at the half, John Newman led the team out of the locker room with Clemson’s first five points of the second half, but NC State answered with an 11-0 run giving them a commanding 18-point lead at 47-29.

“It’s hard to win when you go 9-for-23 at the line. You run good offense, guys get fouled, and you come away with no points or one point, it’s deflating, and it just puts too much pressure on you,” head coach Brad Brownell said.

Despite the poor free-throw shooting, Clemson trailed by just six with just under a minute left in the game as their defense kept them in the game, but were unable to get much closer than that.

Aamir Simms led Clemson with 18 points in the losing effort. Clemson falls to 9-8 overall and 3-4 in ACC play and will return to Littlejohn Coliseum on Tuesday at 8 p.m. against Wake Forest.

Inability to hit free throws proves costly in loss for Clemson at NC State

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