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Clemson 78, Syracuse 61: Tigers dominate the Orange

It got ugly at Clemson as Syracuse moved to 10-6 on the season.

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Clemson Andersen Independent Mail-USA TODAY NETWORK

Coming into the game, the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball was 1-4 on the road so this matchup at Clemson had the odds stacked up already against the Orange. In the end, Clemson handled Syracuse by a final score of 78-61.

Syracuse didn’t play this week because of a positive test within the Louisville basketball program, which postponed Wednesday’s game between the Orange and Cardinals.

When Syracuse-Clemson tipped, the Orange found themselves in an early hole. They couldn’t score the ball and that happened to be a trend throughout the whole first half. This even featured what was about a 10 minute drought where the Orange couldn’t convert a field goal. Although Syracuse was down bad, the lead wasn’t insurmountable. This was because Clemson couldn’t take care of the ball, registering nine turnovers. Unfortunately, the Orange couldn’t capitalize off those turnovers, bailing the Tigers out. Tigers forward Aamir Simmss and guard Nick Honor could do no wrong for they were big reasons why Clemson was up in this one. Honor was 4-6 from deep in the first half.

At the half, the team only had one assist. Buddy Boeheim and Alan Griffin led the team in scoring with 5 points each. They also only made 3 field goals. That is worse than anything we have seen all season, even the games where the Orange out-rebounded by a large margin. If Syracuse wanted any chance to get back in this game they had to come out with major intensity in the second half, and that is exactly what we saw.

When the second half began, the activity on defense picked up for the Orange. They converted on two field goals in the first three minutes of the half which is surprising after what we witnessed in the first half. But the zone was pretty much ineffective against the Tigers as they came out the half shooting from the perimeter and converting. Jim Boeheim went to the press with about 10 minutes remaining, which yielded strong results initially but wasn’t enough to cut into Clemson’s lead meaningfully.

Aamir Simmss continued his dominance and Syracuse couldn’t do anything about it. He was destroying the zone, finding his spots and making it look easy. Simms finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Girard got going late, but ultimately it was too little too late as Syracuse fell on the road 78-61.

The Orange fall to 10-6 overall and are now 1-5 on the road.