Tigers lock up top 4 seed despite loss to Syracuse

Tigers lock up top 4 seed despite loss to Syracuse

Basketball

Tigers lock up top 4 seed despite loss to Syracuse

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Clemson will get a double-bye in next week's ACC Tournament

Gabe DeVoe’s prayer from half court rimmed in-and-out of the cylinder as time expired Saturday, giving Syracuse a 55-52 victory over No. 18 Clemson at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y.

The good news for the Tigers is it did not cost them a top-four spot in next week’s ACC Tournament. Thanks to Miami’s win over Virginia Tech earlier in the day, Clemson locked up at least the No. 4 spot and earned a two-day bye in the process.

The Tigers (22-8, 11-7 ACC) will not play again until next Thursday in Brooklyn, N.Y., in the quarterfinal round of the ACC Tournament.

Guard Marcquise Reed led Clemson with 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting. He scored 17 of those 21 points in the second half. He was 5-of-7 from three-point range.

Elijah Thomas also had a good game, going 5-for-5 from the field, while scoring 18 points and grabbing six rebounds. Thomas was also 8-of-12 from the foul line, but he missed his last three, including two crucial ones with the game tied at 50 with 2:54 to play.

Syracuse (19-12, 8-10 ACC) took the lead for good on two Oshae Brissett free throws with2:27 to go after a Reed miss jumper and Thomas was called for a foul. The foul was a questionable one because it appeared Thomas had inside position and Brissett went over the top to try to steal the rebound from Thomas, but the official instead called Thomas with the foul.

Aamir Sims was called for a foul on Clemson’s next possession after going over the back of Paschal Chakwu. The Syracuse center made both free throws to give the Orange a 54-50 lead with 1:30 to play in the game.

Reed made a layup after an assist from DeVoe with 44 seconds left to pull the Tigers within two points. He later had an opportunity to tie the game three seconds to play but his layup was blocked by Brissett.

Syracuse had seven blocked shots overall Saturday, three by Brissett and four by Chakwu.

Brissett and Tyus Battle scored 17 points each to lead the Orange, while Frank Howard added 11. The Orange finished the game with 15 offensive rebounds.

Clemson had one more chance to tie the game at the end after Marek Dolezaj hit the front of the rim on a second free throw attempt with two seconds to play. Point guard Shelton Mitchell grabbed the rebound and quickly got it to DeVoe whose half-court shot just missed.

The Tigers got just four points combined from Mitchell and DeVoe. Mitchell was 0-for-4 from the field and did not score, while DeVoe had his worst game of the year, going 2-of-13 from the field overall and 0-for-6 from three-point range.

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