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Clemson ‘s Epic Journey: A Heartbreaking Finale Against Alabama

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Clemson basketball raised the standard despite Elite Eight loss

Clemson ‘s hopes for their first-ever Final Four got dashed at the free-throw line last Saturday. Their amazing tournament journey ended with a tough 89-82 loss to Alabama in the Elite Eight.

Even though Clemson had been hitting 76% of their free throws in the tournament before Saturday, they stumbled when it counted most. In the second half against Alabama, they only managed to make 3 out of 11 shots from the charity stripe.

Clemson got off to a good start in the first half, pulling ahead by more than ten points thanks to Ian Schieffelin scoring 10 points. But then Alabama, with Mark Sears and Jaron Stevenson leading the charge, kept coming at Clemson, especially towards the end. The Tide went on a tear in the last eight minutes of the first half, scoring 22 points compared to Clemson’s 6, ending up ahead 35-32 as both teams headed to the locker room.

Clemson basketball's player making a goal against Alabama
Clemson basketball raised the standard despite Elite Eight loss

Alabama kept the pressure on in the second half, not giving Clemson any room to breathe. They picked up right where they left off, shooting an impressive 70% from the field. It was too much for Clemson to handle, and Alabama effectively sealed the deal.

“Clemson’s coach, Brad Brownell, said, ‘They really turned it up in the second half. We just couldn’t seem to stop them. I’ve got to figure out how to help our guys do better defensively.’”

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Alabama started slow in shooting the ball on Saturday night, only managing 33% in the first half. But they turned it up in the second half, shooting a blazing 70% from the field.

Coach Brad Brownell said, “The second half was unbelievable. That’s the kind of action fans love both teams scoring 50 points. But Alabama hit 10 out of 15 threes, just like what happened against Miami, and you can’t win like that.”

Clemson’s PJ Hall tried to pump up his team early in the second half with a huge one-handed slam and a bonus free throw. But he got into foul trouble while defending against Alabama’s Grant Nelson and had to sit out with 3:25 left, finishing with 14 points, four rebounds, and two assists.

“Yeah, it really hurts right now,” Hall said. “We’ve achieved a lot, but we fell a bit short of what we wanted.”

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Joseph Girard III stepped up when Hall was out, getting hot in the second half. He only scored two points in the first half but racked up 17 points in the second, hitting 5 out of 7 three-pointers and adding two assists.

Schieffelin ended with a double-double, scoring 18 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. But his 4-for-8 free-throw shooting hurt the Tigers’ chances.

Clemson basketball player making a sign for winning after make a goal.
Clemson in solid standing as March approaches

Foul trouble plagued Clemson, with key players like Schieffelin, Jack Clark, and RJ Godfrey sidelined. Alabama outrebounded Clemson 44-33, scoring 15 second-chance points to Clemson’s five.

“I’m disappointed in our rebounding,” Brownell said. “But Godfrey’s performance was a bright spot, giving us those extra possessions.”

Clemson struggled to get points from the bench, with Godfrey being the only one contributing, scoring 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting. Hunter didn’t have the same impact as before, finishing with 12 points but making up for it with five rebounds, six assists, and two blocks.

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“To get this far, PJ and I made history,” Hunter said. “We’ve set a new standard for this program, and we plan to keep it up.”

Clemson’s season ends in their second-ever trip to the Elite Eight. With most of the starting lineup leaving after this season, rebuilding to this level will be tough for the Tigers as they aim for their first March Madness final four.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Nida Iqbal

    March 31, 2024 at 6:42 pm

    It’s a good story to read but I think it should be best for those who have craving of Basketball 😉😉😉😉😉😉😉

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