|Posted on February 6, 2021 at 4:35 PM|
Article by Dan Tortora
The Syracuse Orange entered Littlejohn Coliseum with a record of 10-5 and had not played a game since the previous Sunday, January 31st, due to the Louisville Cardinals having to postpone their visit to Syracuse, New York, following a positive test and having to abide by the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Medical Advisory Group.
Clemson came in at 11-5, with the Tigers (5-5) and Orange (4-4) each .500 in the ACC.
Syracuse was the first to score when junior guard Buddy Boeheim connected from long range on the team's first possession, just 33 seconds into the game.
The Tigers quickly responded, getting out to a double-digit lead, 15-5, on 6-for-8 shooting (75%) early in the contest, making three-straight shots en route to their 15-5 advantage..
Syracuse would, however, go on a 6-2 run from there, getting themselves within two possessions, 17-11.
At the 12:46 mark, Orange fans saw senior center Bourama Sidibe return to the court for the first time since going out with a knee injury in the season- and home-opener versus the Bryant Bulldogs.
But Syracuse fans were not given much more positives besides that, with the team making a mere two field goals in the first 14 minutes and change.
Clemson, on the other hand, continued to pour it on, going on a 10-1 run to get out to a 15-point lead, 27-12.
Failures to get out to shooters, box out, run offensive plays, and grab offensive rebounds all came together to create an abysmal start for the Orange in the first half.
The Tigers would get out to a 20-point advantage at the half, 39-19, going 13-for-27 from the field (48%).
Syracuse connected on a mere three of their 25 first-half shots from the field (12%), making one of their last 20 attempts before the break.
Senior forward Aamir Simms led all players on either team at halftime with 13 points, on 5-for-7 shooting.
Teammate, junior guard Nick Honor, followed Simms with 12 points for Clemson, going 4-for-6 from the field, all from beyond the arc.
Boeheim and junior forward Alan Griffin led the Orange with five points apiece in the first half. Griffin, 0-for-4 from the field, had all of his points at the charity stripe, going 5-for-5.
Syracuse would tie the Clemson output to start the second half, scoring 14 points apiece, but the Orange had to roll uphill after struggling on offense and defense in the first 20 minutes of play.
No matter what the Orange did to score, they allowed too much to the Tigers, making any added points disappear within the fact that they continued to trailing by around 20 points in the second half.
Syracuse's closest that they would come in the final 20 minutes was down 17, and the farthest they would be from Clemson was down 25 points.
The Orange would fall 78-61 on the road, moving them to 10-6 on the season and back under the equator line in the ACC, at 4-5.
Clemson rose to 12-5 overall and above the equator line in conference, at 6-5.
Simms and Honors, just as they did in the first half, would remain the only double-digit scorers for the Tigers in the game, amounting 18 and 15, respectively. In the second half, Simms would score five points and Honor would have three. They would combine to go 12-for-17 from the field in the game.
Sophomore guard Joe Girard, III, Griffin, and senior forward/center Marek Dolezaj would all get to the double-digit scoring mark in the second half, Girard finishing with 19, followed by Griffin with 12 and Dolezaj with 10.
Sidibe would have one point, one block, one turnover, and foul personal fouls in 11 minutes in his return to the court for the Orange.