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Clemson 66 - Syracuse 53: Orange Fail To Remain Undefeated In ACC Play

Syracuse trailed wire-to-wire in a loss to Clemson this afternoon.

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange suffered its first loss in ACC play on Saturday, falling to the Clemson Tigers 66-53 at Littlejohn Coliseum.

The Orange got off to a slow start -- falling behind by as many as 22 points in the first half -- and never recovered. Syracuse faced a 39-18 halftime deficit and failed to get within single digits at any point.

The Orange shot 36.8 percent from the field and just 13.3 percent from beyond the arc, its worst mark since shooting 0-of-14 from distance against Holy Cross in November. On the other side, the Tigers shot 45.1 percent overall and connected on 40 percent (8-of-20) of their three-pointers.

As has frequently been the case this season, Syracuse was led by Rakeem Christmas, who scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, giving him his sixth double-double of the campaign. Michael Gbinije and Kaleb Joseph combined for 23 points, while Tyler Roberson grabbed eight offensive boards and 13 total rebounds. Not making much of an impact was Trevor Cooney, who finished 0-of-7 from the field and 0-of-5 from three.

Clemson's balanced offensive attack was led by a trio of players -- Jaron Blossomgame, Donte Grantham, and Rod Hall -- combining for 46 points. Grantham had 16, while Blossomgame and Hall scored 15 apiece.

With the loss, which snapped a seven-game winning streak, Syracuse is now 4-1 in ACC play and 13-5 overall. It was SU's first loss in regulation since losing to the St. John's Red Storm on December 6.

The Orange returns to the Carrier Dome on Tuesday, as a meeting with the Boston College Eagles awaits. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00pm ET.