Clemson returns home looking to snap a two-game losing streak on Friday afternoon when it faces Charleston Southern.
The Tigers (4-2) reeled off four straight wins to open the season before dropping their final two games at last week’s Charleston (S.C.) Classic, 68-65 to then-No. 22 St. Bonaventure on Nov. 19 and 66-59 to West Virginia on Sunday.
Clemson squandered double-digit, second-half leads in both setbacks. St. Bonaventure outscored the Tigers 42-29 after intermission, and West Virginia took over with a 21-7 run that spanned almost 12 minutes.
Tigers coach Brad Brownell said after the defeat against the Mountaineers, “I just told our team, ‘Guys, we played some really good basketball this weekend. It’s disappointing we lost two games. But when you play good teams, competitive teams, you’ve got to play the full 40 minutes.’ We got exposed for some weaknesses.”
One of the deficiencies that cost the Tigers in Charleston was free-throw shooting. Clemson went 4 of 8 at the foul line against St. Bonaventure to the Bonnies’ 8 of 8, and finished 10 of 18 to West Virginia’s 9 of 11.
Clemson is shooting 63.5 percent from the charity stripe on the season, a stark contrast to the Tigers’ 44.8 percent 3-point shooting. Clemson has emerged as one of the nation’s most consistent shooting teams from long range through the initial weeks of the season, thanks to Nick Honor, Al-Amir Dawes, Hunter Tyson and PJ Hall all making at least 42.1 percent on at least 17 attempts.
Honor’s 12 of 25 (48 percent) and Dawes’ 16 of 34 (47.1 percent) set the pace.
Meanwhile, Charleston Southern (2-3) has struggled mightily on defense. The Buccaneers are surrendering 81.4 points per game, one of the highest yields in Division I.
Their early-season schedule included two of Clemson’s Atlantic Coast Conference counterparts, Wake Forest and Georgia Tech. Charleston Southern lost to the Demon Deacons 95-59 on Nov. 17, then fell at Georgia Tech 85-70 on Monday.
Sandwiched between those ACC matchups, Charleston Southern blasted Division III Bob Jones University 119-63.
Buccaneers coach Barclay Radebaugh told the Post and Courier after last Saturday’s win that his team has played “an odd schedule” with games against Bob Jones and Johnson & Wales mixed among matchups with power-conference competition.
“We’ve had to be creative in finding ways to get better against every team we play,” he said.
–Field Level Media