Clemson controls South Carolina
Marcquise Reed scored 25 points and Clemson’s defense smothered South Carolina in a 64-48 win on Tuesday night at Littlejohn Arena in Clemson, S.C.
Clemson (10-1) won for the sixth straight time since suffering its only loss to Temple. Included in that streak was a 71-69 win over No. 22 Florida on Saturday.
The Gamecocks (8-3), who had not played since beating Coastal Carolina on Dec. 9, had won six of seven with their only loss coming to Temple.
Reed, who on Monday was named the ACC Player of the Week as he topped 1,000 career points, made 6 of 11 shots from the field, including going 5 of 9 from 3-point range, and had six rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Chris Silva led South Carolina with 12 points and nine rebounds.
Baskets were hard to come by in what was expected to be a defensive battle. The Gamecocks came in to play allowing only 65.2 points per game. The Tigers were giving up only 64.4.
Clemson was in control most of the first half as the Tigers opened a nine-point lead and the Gamecocks played catch-up for most of the first 20 minutes.
South Carolina, which was shooting only 34 percent from beyond the arc coming into the game, went 0 of 6 from deep in the first half. If not for making 8 of 10 free throws, Frank Martin’s squad would have been in a much deeper hole.
The Gamecocks were only slightly better from 3-point range (3 of 9), and they did connect on 12 of 16 first-half free throws, good enough to give them a 31-26 lead at halftime.
Defense and out-of-control offense marked the first four minutes of the second half as neither team made a field goal until Maik Kotsar’s layup with 16:11 left broke the dry spell and made the score 33-28.
But then the Tigers went on a 10-4 second-half run to open an 11-point lead with just under 12 minutes to play.
Reed connected on a 3 to give the Tigers a 43-32 lead. Almost two minutes later, Shelton Mitchell’s dunk put Clemson up 45-32.
Hassani Gravett connected on a 3-pointer for the Gamecocks with 6:46 left to make the score 50-39. The Gamecocks finished 2 of 16 from beyond the arc.