Georgia Tech routed at home by Clemson

Nait George shoots against a pair of Clemson defenders during Wednesday's game at McCamish Pavilion.

Credit: Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech

Credit: Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech

Nait George shoots against a pair of Clemson defenders during Wednesday's game at McCamish Pavilion.

Hot-shooting Clemson left no doubt Wednesday as to who the better team was as it disposed of Georgia Tech 81-57 score at McCamish Pavilion.

The Tigers, needing wins to keep NCAA Tournament at-large bid hopes alive, trailed for only 35 seconds early and then dominated starting around the 17-minute mark of the first half and beyond. They shot 53.4 percent, registered 21 assists and drained 14 3-pointers.

“Always helps when you make shots and we started the game extremely well,” Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. “The last time we played (Tech) we did not make shots so it probably evened out a little bit today. Just pleased with the way our guys guarded. I thought we sustained it defensively for the full 40 minutes.”

Tech, which had just knocked off Syracuse on Saturday, was looking for consecutive wins for the first time since December. Instead, it was often left looking for answers on how to stop CU (18-8, 8-7 ACC) and how to keep up on the scoreboard. The Jackets (11-16, 4-12 ACC) had more turnovers (nine) than assists (six), which has never been a recipe for success for this team in this particular season.

Miles Kelly became the 48th member of Tech’s 1,000-point club when he sank a pair of free throws with 13:24 to play - the only highlight for the home team in the second half. Kyle Sturdivant had 14 points to pace Tech. Tafare Gapare scored 10 and brought in seven boards.

Tech, now virtually locked into playing on the first day of the ACC tournament March 12, hits the road next to play at Miami (15-12, 6-10 ACC) at 4 p.m. Saturday.

“It’s one of those games where I felt like our group thought it was gonna be easy, from the standpoint of we come out hit 3s, they hit 3s and it’s like, man, the game don’t play like that,” Tech coach Damon Stoudamire said. “I thought we forgot the game plan. We forgot the game plan, and when you forget the game plan against a team like Clemson they pound you.”

Clemson began the night making nine of its first 10 shots as part of a 14-0 run while jumping out to a 23-9 lead. Tech simply couldn’t keep pace the rest of the first half.

The Tigers wound up shooting 50 percent from the field and from distance, had 11 assists on 16 field goals and got 24 points combined from Ian Schieffelin and PJ Hall. Tech didn’t necessarily play poorly, but six turnovers and just three offensive rebounds didn’t help its cause.

The Jackets never made things interesting in the second 20 minutes. They missed 19 of their 25 shots (24%) and the Tigers led by as many as 26.

“When you get to a point on the floor in a game, and I’ve been on both sides of these, from the standpoint of (Brownell) you’re telling them play the right way, make the extra pass, do the right thing, let’s get outta here, nobody get hurt,” Stoudamire said. “Then when you’re on the other side like I was tonight, you just wanna see who got a competitive spirit? And for me the last eight minutes of the game, I just felt like we quit. I’m not alright with it but I’m alright with it. Because that’s a reflection on me.

“I’ve always had a saying and it was preached to me when I was younger. At times if you’re not gonna respect what’s on the front of your jersey, respect what’s on your back because we all got a legacy and a family name. How that’s defined should mean something to you.”

Schieffelin led CU with 19 and missed only four shots. Chase Hunter, a Westlake High grad, had 18 points, six rebounds and six assists.


-Wednesday’s defeat was Tech’s worst to Clemson since losing 87-62 on Jan. 12, 2011.

-Tech is now 68-78 all-time against Clemson and 46-28 against the Tigers at home.

-Wednesday’s game for Tech was its ninth this season against a team considered Quad 1 by the NCAA Net ratings system. The Jackets fell to 3-6 in such games.

-The Jackets are now 7-7 at home this season, 7-12 against teams with a winning record, 2-11 when trailing at halftime, 3-16 when trailing at the 5-minute mark of the second half, 2-11 when scoring fewer than 70 points and 1-12 when shooting worse than the opponent.

-Announced attendance was 4,567, giving Tech an average of 4,928 for the season.