Whether it was due to Elijah Thomas’ early foul trouble or they were still jetlagged from their trip to the Cayman Islands Classic, No. 24 Clemson looked lethargic in its 68-66 loss to Nebraska Monday at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson.
The game was a part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
The Tigers were led by Thomas’ 16 points. Marcquise Reed dropped in 15 points as well, while point guard Shelton Mitchell added 13.
Clemson opened the game with two quick baskets by Thomas. However, the center and Nebraska’s Isaiah Roby got into an altercation soon after where both were given double technical fouls. Thomas later picked up his second foul around the 10-minute mark of the game and stayed seated the rest of the first half.
In the second half, Thomas reached in after Nebraska got a rebound and the Tigers’ big man had his third foul before the first official timeout. By the time the senior got back in the game, Clemson found itself down five points and shooting just 30 percent from the field.
Clemson (5-2) struggled shooting the ball from behind the arc, shooting just 33-percent. The Tigers were just 4-of-12 from three-point range. They shot 49 percent overall.
The Tigers, who have now lost two straight, had an opportunity to the game following a steal and a David Skara dunk to cut the lead to 66-64 with 57 seconds left to play. That was part of a 5-0 run after falling behind seven points later in the game.
Clemson got a stop on the next Nebraska possession, but when Reed drove the lane for what everyone at Littlejohn thought was a foul with 9.4 seconds to play. However, he was called for a travel.
The Tigers will host St. Peters on Dec. 4 at 7 p.m.