Junior forward Aamir Simms scored 15 points to lead five Clemson players in double figures as the Tigers knocked off North Carolina State 81-70 on Saturday in an Atlantic Coast Conference game in Clemson, S.C.
Clemson (7-7, 1-3) snapped a three-game losing streak to the Wolfpack (10-4, 1-2).
Clemson shot 46.9 percent from the floor en route to winning for just the second time in eight games.
N.C. State, which entered the game having won five of six, was playing without leading scorer and rebounder C.J. Bryce (concussion), and it showed. The Wolfpack made just 5 of 21 shots from 3-point range, including 1 of 9 in the second half, and were outrebounded 34-30.
N.C. State point guard Markell Johnson struggled, making 5 of 15 shots, including 1 of 6 from beyond the arc. He missed all three of his free throw attempts and had six turnovers.
Clemson jumped out to an 11-4 lead and led by as many as 14 points in the first half as sophomore guard John Newman III scored 10 points. But N.C. State made seven of its last nine field goal attempts to end the half, slicing its deficit to six, 41-35, at the break.
The Wolfpack cut the Tigers’ lead to one point on two occasions in the second half, including at the 11:55 mark. But Clemson later scored seven straight points, expanding its lead to 68-58 with 3:35 remaining.
Clemson hit 26 of 31 free throw attempts for the game, using that accuracy to hold off N.C. State.
Freshman guard Al-Amir Dawes added 16 points for Clemson, making 9 of 10 free throws tries, while Curran Scott and Tevin Mack had 14 points apiece. Newman chipped in with 12.
D.J. Funderburk paced N.C. State with 14 points on 5 of 8 shooting from the floor, while Johnson and Devon Daniels had 11 each. Pat Andree also was in double figures with 10.
—Field Level Media