Clemson University men’s basketball used a second-half offensive onslaught to top Ohio State, 79-65, in the 2017 ACC/Big Ten Challenge at Value City Arena on Wednesday night.
The Tigers (6-1) outscored the Buckeyes (5-3) by 21 points in the second half on 63.0 percent shooting (17-for-27) from the field, while nailing 6-of-10 3-pointers. Clemson shot 9-for-11 from the foul line, including a perfect 6-for-6 during the last 6:10 of the game.
The offensive firepower was fueled by a season-high 22 points from Marcquise Reed on 7-for-13 shooting – 14 of which came in the second period.
Shelton Mitchell wasn’t far behind, finishing with 19 points, while both Donte Grantham and Elijah Thomas scored 11 points each. Gabe DeVoe chipped in nine, while Aamir Simms poured in a career-high seven points off the bench.
Thomas led the team with eight rebounds, while Reed collected seven and Grantham tallied six. Thomas also finished with four blocked shots for the second consecutive contest.
Clemson led for 48 seconds in the first half, trailing by as many as 13 points. They would cut into that lead and trail by just seven at the break.
Down seven at the 13:26 mark of the second half, a 10-2 run sparked by a Mitchell three and a Grantham fastbreak slam helped propel the Tigers. A jumper from Reed gave the Tigers its first lead since early in the first half at 54-53 with 11:08 to go.
Up by nine points with 3:24 to go in the ballgame, Reed drained a dagger with his third 3-pointer of the game to put the Tigers up by 12 and well on their way victory.
Clemson forced nine second half Buckeye turnovers and turned those into 17 points. The Tigers allowed the Buckeyes to shoot 8-for-15 from three in the opening half, but held them to just 1-for-6 in the second. On the other had, the Tigers turned it over just twice.
The Tigers will return to the court on Sunday, Dec. 3 when it hosts UNC Asheville for an afternoon contest. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m. inside Littlejohn Coliseum.
Notes: With the win, it marks Clemson’s best start to a season since 2013-14 … it was also just the third time this decade Clemson has overcome a deficit of seven points or more in the second half and won … also with the win, the Tigers improved to 10-7 all-time in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and 2-0 against Ohio State … the 65 points allowed was the second-fewest that Ohio State has scored this season … Marcquise Reed set a new season-high with 22 points … Aamir Simms notched a career-best seven points … 63.0 percent shooting in the second half was a season-best for the Tigers … the Tigers are now 65-29 in the month of November under the direction of head coach Brad Brownell … it was his 130th win at Clemson and puts him just three wins shy of 300 for his career (297).