The Clemson Men’s Basketball Team lost to the Virginia Cavaliers on Saturday afternoon 63-58. The Tigers kept the game close the entire time and it was tied with only 6:29 to go until the Tigers went down on Malcolm Brogdon’s jumper and trailed the rest of the way. The Tigers had a chance with 13 seconds left but Jordan Roper missed the 3-point attempt and the Cavaliers collected the rebound and made the ensuing free throws to seal the victory.
Joe Harris, who had 16 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists, led the Cavaliers. Malcolm Brogdon and Mike Tobey contributed 14 points each, and Anthony Gill had a nice showing off the bench with 12 points and 3 rebounds. The Tigers were led by K.J. McDaniels with 24 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, and 3 blocks. Austin Ajukwa had a very good game off the bench with 6 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal in only 13 minutes of action. The Tigers were shorthanded for the game as Landry Nnoko was forced out of the lineup with illness and Damarcus Harrison went off with an injury early in the second half. He, however, would return to the game later. Sidy Djitte was also coming off only two days of practice after recovering from an ankle injury. The defense was solid for the Tigers as they only gave up 63 points; just a little more than the season average, but the story of the loss was once again the lack of offensive firepower. McDaniels scored 24 but no other Tiger was in double figures and the highest other point total was 7 from Damarcus Harrison.
If the Tigers want to be successful for the rest of the season then a second offensive threat needs to be found. Rod Hall, Jordan Roper, and Jaron Blossomgame are all guys who can provide the firepower but they have not stepped up yet. Brownell will have to find help for K.J. to win the upcoming games. The next game for the Tigers will be on Tuesday, February 18th, against the NC State Wolfpack. The game is a must win for the Tigers if they want to have any real shot at making the NCAA Tournament. The Wolfpack come into the game at 16-9 (6-6) and tied for 6th in the ACC.