Clemson (4-2) handed Nebraska a 60-58 loss in a late night game in Littlejohn last night. Following the game, the media spoke to head coach Brad Brownell and point guard Avry Holmes.
Here is what we heard:
Brownell spoke on his team’s hard fought win against the Cornhuskers, crediting the Tigers’ win to their defense in the last half.
“Hard-fought win today,” Brownell said. “I’ve been talking a lot about our team offensively, playing well and playing with confidence, and we didn’t play well offensively, certainly in the first half. For whatever reason, we were playing way too fast. Defensively, I thought we were pretty good all game. I thought Nebraska was very good defensively, that’s probably the reason we didn’t play well offensively.
“We made it hard on each other. There weren’t many easy baskets. We had to work. This game was won in the last twelve minutes; I think they were 5 for their last 24. That’s good for this team to win a game that way. Good hard-fought win in a competitive, physical game.”
The game came down to a scramble on the last possession of the game. The Cornhuskers tried to drive to the basket for a floater, hoping to take the game into overtime. Holmes said Clemson’s defense kept Nebraska from tying it up.
“In the first half they were hitting shots, we weren’t playing good defense,” Holmes said. “We learned from Oklahoma. Offensively we weren’t there, so we had to win the game defensively.”
When the Tigers were fighting late in the last half to win the game, Brownell and Holmes said that the fans changed the momentum of the game.
“I thought our student turnout was fantastic. Can’t thank them enough. There was no question it helps,” Brownell said. “This is one of those games you’re not playing as well and you just need to feed off the crowd, maybe defensively. I thought the crowd really helped us tonight.”
Agreeing, Holmes praised and appreciated Clemson fans’ support.
“I love it. It feels really good. They’re into it all the time. It helps us a lot,” Holmes said.
The win was the Tigers’ first ACC-Big Ten Challenge win since they defeated the Hawkeyes at Iowa in 2011. Brownell said that winning this game is a huge confidence booster, steering the Tigers in the right direction.
“It builds confidence, it builds momentum,” Brownell said. “It helps in terms of RPI, a win against a team that’s going to do well and have a good RPI in their league. It keeps you going in a good direction. That’s important for us right now.”
Although the Tigers struggled offensively throughout the game, Brownell praised his team for finding a way to get the win.
“Credit to our guys for just finding a way when we’re not playing our best,” Brownell said. “That’s hopefully the mark of a team that’s turning the corner.”