Clemson Closes Regular Season; Senior Day with Win Over Syracuse

Clemson Closes Regular Season; Senior Day with Win Over Syracuse
Clemson seniors Elijah Thomas and James Island alum Lyles Davis hug after the Tigers senior day win over Syracuse (Clemson Athletics)

CLEMSON, S.C. — Marcquise Reed and Elijah Thomas both posted double-doubles in Clemson University men’s basketball’s 67-55 victory over Syracuse on the day the program, fans and University honored the team’s senior class.

The Tigers (19-12, 9-9 ACC) were paced offensively by Reed’s 24 points – 19 of which came in the second half. Reed tallied his sixth career double-double with 10 rebounds in the contest and also tied his career-best with five steals on the defensive end of the floor.

Thomas achieved his 20th career double-double with a 13-point, 11-rebound effort against the Orange (19-12, 10-8 ACC). Thomas also swatted three shots around the rim and came away with two steals.

Clemson went scoreless for the opening 5:14 of the game until Thomas connected on a layup inside the Syracuse zone defense. The Tigers got down by as many as 10 in the opening stanza with Syracuse holding a 23-13 advantage with 6:48 remaining in the half.

The Tigers closed to within seven at the break and trailed 31-24.

With 15:53 left in regulation and the Orange clutching to a five-point advantage at 38-33, the Tigers engineered a 14-0 run to jumped in front and lead by six with 10:32 left.

With a 40-38 advantage in the game, Clemson’s four senior starters scored the last 27 points of the contest over the last nearly 14 minutes of the game to help seal the double-digit victory on Senior Day.

The 10-point deficit overcome for victory was the largest by the Tigers during the 2018-19 season.

Shelton Mitchell reached double-figures with 10 points and four assists, while also contributing two steals. Aamir Simms finished with eight points, seven rebounds and a career-high five assists. David Skara totaled five points, three rebounds and one assist and block.

The Tigers outrebounded the Orange 45-30, including 18-6 on the offensive glass. Clemson assisted on 13-of-19 made field goals.

Clemson will open the ACC Tournament with NC State on Wednesday, March 13 at 12 p.m. from the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C.

Notes: Clemson improves to 19-12 overall and 9-9 in ACC play … head coach Brad Brownell won his 168th game at Clemson – leaving him just nine shy of tying Cliff Ellis for the most in Clemson history … the win was also coach Brownell’s 100th win in Littlejohn Coliseum in his career … the 10-point deficit overcome was the largest by the Tigers all season … it was the 14th time that a coach Brownell team has overcome a deficit of 10 points or larger to win since 2010 … Marcquise Reed notched his fifth career double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds … it marked Reed’s third double-double of the season … Reed remains 15th in scoring with 1,426 points as a Tiger … Reed now owns 1,955 career points … Reed’s season total of 544 points is now tied with Vince Yockel (1955-56) for the 16th-most points scored in a season in Clemson history … Reed tallied double-digit rebounds for the fifth time in his career … Reed tied his career-best with five steals … Reed now has 167 steals in his Clemson career – cracking the top 10 in program history and is currently ninth … Elijah Thomas notched his 20th double-double of his career and the ninth of the season … the nine double-doubles in 2018-19 ties his mark from 2017-18 … besides last year, nine double-doubles is the most in a season for a Clemson player since Trevor Booker (2006-10) in 2009-10 … with 11 rebounds, Thomas now has 633 for his Clemson career and is now tied for 19th all-time with Ray Henderson (1999-03) … Thomas blocked three more shots and now has 175 for his career at Clemson – just two shy of tying Sharrod Ford (2001-05) for ninth all time … with 10 points, Shelton Mitchell is now 35th all-time in scoring at Clemson with 1,080 career points … with four more assists, Mitchell now has 315 for his career … Aamir Simms set a new career-high with five assists.