On Saturday afternoon, the Clemson Tigers defeated the Syracuse Orange by a score of 77-68 at the JMA Wireless Dome in Syracuse, New York.
Despite a Syracuse second-half surge to bring the game close, the Tigers (16-7, 6-6 ACC) were able to close out the game strong, winning back-to-back games for the first time since Dec. 29, when they defeated Queens and Radford back-to-back earlier this season.
The win also marks the first time that Clemson is .500 in ACC play, hopefully symbolizing a momentum boost in games to come in the conference.
While leading by as much as 15 points in the first frame, the Syracuse guard duo of Judah Mintz and JJ Starling brought the Orange back into the contest, tying the game at 60 with 3:13 to go. However, with the post-dominance that the Tigers had throughout the contest, Clemson was able to pull away and take their first away win at Syracuse since 2016.
Clemson was able to dominate early on in the contest through their rebounding. Two players reached double-digits in rebounds, Jack Clark and PJ Hall. The Tigers also outrebounded the Orange heavily, with a 39-22 difference on the glass in favor of Clemson.
However, the home team was able to bring the game back into grasp with turnovers. The Tigers turned the ball over 21 times on Saturday. The Orange (15-9, 6-7 ACC) scored 15 points off of these turnovers.
In his first game back to Syracuse, Joe Girard III scored a team-high 18 points, sinking four three-pointers. The graduate guard had a full circle moment against his former team, as Girard hit the 2,000-point mark, being only the 17th active player at the collegiate level currently to achieve that accomplishment.
Hall continued his incredible stretch of games, showing his impact, especially on the glass on Saturday afternoon. The senior scored 15 points and had ten rebounds in the win.
Clemson will be back in action on Wednesday night when they will host the Miami Hurricanes with a chance to defeat an opponent that beat them earlier this year. The Tigers will search for a third straight win in conference play.