The last time Clemson’s Marcquise Reed played in a game that mattered at Littlejohn Coliseum, he scored a career-high. The catch, he was not playing for the Tigers at the time.
Reed scored a career-high 21 points for his old team Robert Morris back on December 30, 2014 in what was a seven-point win for Clemson. On Friday night, now as a Tiger, the 6-foot-3, 185-pound guard scored a game-high 19 points in leading Clemson to a 74-64 victory in the Tigers’ first game back at Littlejohn Coliseum.
“It was not weird for me at all,” Reed said. “It was a good feeling to just play in the new facility.”
Reed finished the game shooting 5-for-11 from the field, including 3-of-6 from behind the three-point line. His three with 1:56 to play, his final basket of the night, was the shot that sealed the Tigers’ victory, making their first game in the new Littlejohn Coliseum a worthwhile experience for the sellout crowd.
“That’s what he does. He is just a basket maker,” Clemson head coach Brad Brownell said. “He plays the same way if we are playing outside or there are 9,000 people in the stands. He is oblivious. He just plays with confidence and he showed his confidence.”
Reed definitely showed his talents in the second half as Georgia cut what was once a 14-point Clemson lead to three points, 51-48, with 10:42 to play on a William Jackson three-pointer. But the good vibes did not last for the Bulldogs.
“When I was coming out of the huddle I told my teammates we have to find a way to get a bucket,” Reed said. “We had not scored in a few minutes and they just went on a run. Basketball is a game of runs. They went on their run and we just needed to go on ours.”
The run was actually all Reed. First he hit a jumper, then stole the ball on Georgia’s ensuing possession and drove the lane for an easy two points. After J.J. Frazier missed a three-pointer for the Bulldogs, Reed followed a couple of Clemson misses with a three-pointer from the left wing, and just like that the Tigers were back on top by 10 points, 58-48, with 9:14 to go.
“I think it was just my ability to drive the ball and get to the paint. It opened things up,” Reed said. “So when that started happening that is what opened up my three-point shots.”
Reed made one more shot after that, nailing a three-pointer with 1:56 to play from the right wing. That gave the Tigers a 72-59 lead, and finished off the Bulldogs for good.
“I was a little nervous. I’m not going to lie,” Brownell said. “It was wide open. It was rhythm, but that whole thing of eat clock, you know. So I was probably yelling for him to pull it out, but he did not disappoint though.
“Then he stole the ball and then gave it right back to them when all he has to do is dribble it over to the side, and we will talk about that on Sunday. So there is one for him and one for me. But again, he played well.”
— Credit: Dawson Powers-USA TODAY Sports