After facing three top 10 opponents to open ACC play in back to back games the Jackets welcomed a team with double or triple digit rankings like themselves, Clemson their longtime rival, 128 all-time meetings dating back to 1912-13 season. The first half was evenly matched like two boxers sparring just feeling each other out. Tech stepped up for the half time lead 32-30.
This young team appears to be growing and developing under the leadership and vision of Coach Pastner. Defeating UNC we saw the possibilities, losing to Duke brought them back to reality, and then losing to Louisville going down the stretch. It was right there for the taking. They got the game to 40-43 but didn’t know how to close it out. Perhaps it was game pressure, tonight they held it together, executed and never relinquished the lead. Clemson played solid basketball tying the game at 40-40 on a three pointer by Marcquise Reed with 13:35 in the second half. Instead of quivering Tadric Jackson answered with a three. Clemson needing a response Gabe Devoe took an ill-advised attempt at another three that caught the edge of the rim. Josh Okogie answered with a jumper giving the Yellow Jackets a five point lead.
Coach Brad Brownwell needed a timeout if for no other reason to break the momentum stirred by the home town crowd. As any good team should they came out of the timeout with a score. But Lammers answered that. Each time Clemson tried something Tech answered to win the game 75-63. Instead of pressing Tech just kept with the game plan according to Josh Pastner the unsung heroes of the game were “Justin Moore and Josh Heath they had 11 assists to three turnovers. They played the right way. They hit singles, they kept it simple, they were sound and, when they play like that, good things happen. Just run the team keep it simple and hit the open man; the open man is the go-to man. Both those guys were really good tonight, I’m very proud of them.”
Ben Lammers the ACC Break Out Player of the Year lead the way with 23 points and another Double, Double connecting on 8 of 17 shots from the field and going 7 for 7 from the free throw line. He had fourteen points in the second half. Quinton Stephens contributed 16 points and 8 rebounds for the game. Most impressive was his 13 second half points in the crunch. Josh Okogie played solid throughout producing 8 points in the first half and 8 more in the second half for a total of 16 points. To complete the four headed monster, Tadric Jackson chipped in 10 points none more important than the big time three pointer with 1:31 remaining. He stopped pulled both feet together got the right set and nailed it to put the game out of reach at 68-58.
Coach Brownwell on Big Ben:
Ben Lammers is a real good player. I mean he is really, really good. He makes it hard at the rim on offense. You can’t score over him. Offensively, he’s talented in that he can score at the rim with his jump hook. He’s making 17-foot jump shots. He’s a very good high-post passer. He’s an elite-level player in this league. Clemson was forced to play outside which has been of their strengths but tonight they couldn’t hit a barn going down the stretch which is a testament to the Yellow Jacket defense in the crunch. After the Louisville game Coach Pastner spoke of needing another scorer tonight he got two. Tech finished the game with 4 guys in double figures.
Jaron Blossomgame led the Tigers with 20 points 6 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. Avry Holmes complimented with 14 points. They had two players in double figures and Tech had four that was the difference in the game. A well balanced scoring attack playing within your system is much more effective than a 2 headed monster. In ACC Play you don’t get a night off next up is a tough three game road trip, getting this win at home against your rival surely builds toward the goal and has to be a confidence builder. Next up NC State, Virginia Tech, and Virginia
- Shot 90% from the free throw line
- 8-0 when scoring more than 70 points and 8-1 when attempting more free throws than the opponent
- Tech has won every game 9-0 when they have shot a better percentage from the floor (46.6% Clemson 36.7%