In its loss to Florida State this past Wednesday, Clemson hit seven of its eight-game goals. However, the one they did not—limiting turnovers—was all it needed to snap a four-game winning streak.
“I don’t know if I have coached a game when we did that well in all the other factors and then not win the game,” Clemson head coach Brad Brownell said.
However, turning the basketball over 21 times can do that, especially when 15 of those 21 turnovers come in the second half and lead to 21 points.
Though the Tigers (20-5, 9-4 ACC) connected on 10-of-26 three-pointers and 46 percent from the field overall, and at one point led by 18 points in the second half, being careless with the basketball came back to bite them in the end.
Marcquise Reed, Gabe DeVoe and Shelton Mitchell combined to commit 13 of Clemson’s 21 turnovers.
“We competed pretty well, but obviously, we gave the game away with poor turnovers,” Brownell said. “When we went back and looked how we played, our preparation and the competitive nature that our team showed it was really, really good.”
Brownell said he was pleased with his team’s overall performance because he knows they were playing hard and performed well in terms of what they were trying to do in the game.
“But obviously,” he said, “the turnovers proved really costly and we were not able to close the game out so that was disappointing.”
Now, in what was already a big game, the FSU loss sets up an even bigger game for the Tigers on Sunday at 1 p.m. against No. 12 Duke at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson. The Blue Devils have won their last two games and seem to be back to doing what everyone expects of them.
The 11th-ranked Tigers and Blue Devils come into the key ACC matchup tied for second place in the conference standings. The top four teams in the ACC get a two-day bye in next month’s ACC Tournament in Brooklyn, N.Y.
“They are a team that seems to be playing really well here the last couple of games,” Brownell said. “I don’t know if Marvin Bagley will be playing or not, but they are playing at a really high level here these last couple of games.
“Grayson Allen looks to be back in great form. They are, as you would expect with their team, kind of hitting their stride. We all go through lulls, and, I think, sometimes people expect Duke to never lose a game. We know they are going to come in here very hungry and play at a very high level.”
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