Clemson’s leading scorer had his worst game of the season
NEW YORK — Marcquise Reed was hoping he and his Clemson teammates might have a different result this time around against top-ranked Virginia.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, they did not.
Clemson, which shot just 32 percent against the Cavaliers back on Jan. 23 in Charlottesville, made just 35 percent of their shots in their 64-58 loss to Virginia in Friday’s ACC Tournament semifinals at the Barclays in Brooklyn.
Reed did not fare much better. In fact, he had his worst game of the season, scoring just six points on 2-of-14 shooting. He was just 1-for-10 from behind the arc.
“Give them credit. They played good defense,” Reed said after the game. “I had an off night.”
Friday marked the second time this year Virginia stymied Clemson’s All-ACC guard. Reed, who leads Clemson in scoring at 16 points per game, was just 3-for-10 and scored six points as well in that Jan. 23 loss.
In the semifinal game, he did not make his first field goal until the 7:23 mark of the second half on a layup that cut the Virginia lead to 48-43 at the time.
“They were hedging ball screens,” Reed said. “They were getting up on my drives and trying not to let me get to the paint.”
Reed was just not missing shots, but he was missing them bad. He shot two air balls, and a lot of his three-pointers were way off the mark. The junior guard said he tried not let his off night of shooting get to him.
“You try to do other things to impact the game,” he said. “You rebound and you set your teammates up, play defense and stuff like that.”
Reed was not the only Tiger missing baskets, though. Clemson (23-9) went 0-for-10 from the field in the last 9:32 of the first half, which allowed Virginia (30-2) to go on a 19-3 run to take a 32-23 lead at the break.
It also did not help that center Elijah Thomas picked up his second foul at the start of the Cavaliers’ run and was sitting on the bench.
“I’m sure schematically I could do a better job in a couple areas to create some things for our guys,” Clemson head coach Brad Brownell said. “I do think you need some inside presence, and we really don’t have that as much without Eli, so I do think that was a factor. But I’m sure in terms of just screening and all that, I don’t know that — they just guard a lot of things really well.
“I think you have to make some individual plays. You’ve got to play in space a little bit better. I don’t think we did exactly what we probably wanted. I would have liked to have had another day or two to really kind of work on it a little bit more, but again, a lot of credit just goes to Virginia and how they just guard you. They just make it really hard.”
With the NCAA Tournament in the horizon, Reed feels Friday’s loss is definitely something they can learn from if they are to play a similar style team like Virginia.
“Just watching film and obviously being able to practice,” he said. “It’s a huge turnaround having more than one day to prepare for a team. We will be well prepared for the NCAA Tournament.”