Freshman Al-Amir Dawes scored a game-high 18 points Wednesday night and canned four of Clemson’s 13 3-pointers as the visiting Tigers stopped Pittsburgh 72-52 in an Atlantic Coast Conference game.
Tevin Mack sank three 3-pointers and added 16 points for Clemson (12-12, 6-8 ACC), which also got 12 points from Aamir Simms. The Tigers connected on 50 percent of their field-goal attempts for the game and outscored the Panthers by a whopping 39-12 from distance.
Justin Champagnie scored 11 points to pace Pittsburgh (15-10, 6-8) and Au’Diese Toney added 10, but the Panthers simply came up short on offense. They hit just 31.3 percent from the field, including a miserable 28 percent after halftime.
Ahead by eight as the second half started, the Tigers put Pittsburgh in a major hole by scoring the first eight points. Mack sandwiched free throws around 3-pointers from himself and John Newman III, and Clemson opened up a 40-24 cushion with 16:31 left.
Dawes drilled a 3-pointer with 13:03 remaining to push the margin to 48-29, a deficit the Panthers weren’t going to overcome with their lack of offensive efficiency. Pitt got within 51-45 when Xavier Johnson connected on two free throws at the 7:03 mark, but Dawes finished off the hosts by capping an 11-2 burst with two free throws for a 62-47 advantage with 3:09 showing.
It took Clemson a little while to find traction offensively. Pittsburgh held the Tigers scoreless for the game’s first 3:49, but the Tigers rattled off seven points in the next 1:42 to take a 7-5 edge on Mack’s first 3-pointer.
Clyde Trapp’s 3-pointer with 11:53 left in the half gave Clemson the lead for good at 14-12, and the Tigers spent the half’s remainder adding to the margin. Alex Hemenway drilled a trey to cap a 13-2 spurt that made it 24-14 with 8:26 left.
Another Hemenway 3-pointer, this one with 1:29 remaining, finished off a 7-1 burst to close the half and give the Tigers a 32-24 advantage at intermission.
—Field Level Media