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Gamecocks Fall at Clemson 71-57

Kacinas leads Carolina with his first double-double of the season


CLEMSON, S.C. – After valiantly fighting back to within one point midway through the second half, South Carolina (1-2) was unable to sustain its comeback bid on the road, falling to Clemson (3-0) 71-57 at Little John Coliseum.  Gamecock sophomore forward Mindaugas Kacinas recorded his first double-double of the season with 13 points and 12 rebounds, while Tiger junior forward K.J. McDaniels led all scorers 21 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

The teams traded made baskets through the first media timeout of the opening half, before back-to-back 3s from Clemson’s Adonis Filer and Jordan Roper pushed the Tiger lead to 17-9 at the 12-minute mark.

Laimonas Chatkevicius responded out of the media timeout with a dunk courtesy of an assist from Notice, but the Tigers put together a 7-4 run to lead by 11 at 24-13 with 8:54 remaining in the half.

South Carolina suffered a near seven-minute scoring drought through the middle portion of the first half until a 3 from Sindarius Thornwell at the 3:42 mark halted the stretch.  Thornwell added a floater on the next possession and another layup with 30 seconds remaining in the half to fuel a 13-9 Gamecock run over the final 3:42 to put the score at 35-26 Clemson at the break.

Clemson scored its last nine points of the first half at the foul line, hitting 9-of-10 attempts during the final 2:51 of the half.

South Carolina hit 33.3 percent (12-36) of its attempts from the floor during the opening half, with the Gamecocks having just three free throw attempts.  The Tigers hit 10-of-24 attempts (41.7 percent) and 12-of-14 attempts from the free throw line.

A dunk and jumper from Demitrius Henry sparked an 8-5 Gamecock run out of the break, but Henry was called for his third foul of the second half at the first media timeout, with Carolina trailing the Tigers by six at 40-34 as 15:16 remained on the clock.

Michael Carrera connected for a dunk out of the break, and Tyrone Johnson added a tally from the foul line, as the Gamecocks continued to battle back from a 13-point deficit to trail by just three at 40-37 with 14:21 to play.

The Gamecocks pulled within one at 40-39 following a continuation call on a floater from Carrera in the lane, but the Tigers responded with a 10-1 run over the next three minutes forcing a Gamecock timeout with 10:02 to play, and a 50-40 Clemson advantage.

The Tigers increased their lead to 54-43 at the under-eight minute media timeout and the score stood at 61-49 Clemson following two free throws from Desmond Ringer with 5:37 on the clock.

The Clemson lead climbed to 14 at 63-49, before a 3-point play from Kacinas pulled Carolina within nine at 63-52 and 4:10 on the clock.  The Tigers scored five straight from that point to push the lead back to 16.

Clemson’s run in the second half was aided by its shooting from the free throw line, hitting nine of its second-half free throws after the Gamecocks closed to within one. The Tigers were 12-12 from the line in the second half and 24-26 (92.3 percent) for the game. On the defensive end, they totaled 12 blocks on the day, with seven coming from McDaniels.



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