Reed scores 19, Clem­son blows out Ge­or­gia Tech 65-42

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL SPORTS - By Paul New­berry AP Sports Writer

When Clem­son got off to a rough start in the At­lantic Coast Con­fer­ence, coach Brad Brownell told his play­ers not to fret.

There was still time to turn things around.

Now, the Tigers are headed in the right di­rec­tion.

Mar­c­quise Reed scored 19 points and Clem­son raced to a big lead in the first half on the way to its third straight vic­tory, rout­ing Ge­or­gia Tech 65-42 on Wed­nes­day night.

“De­fen­sively, we were very locked in and played with great en­ergy. The ac­tiv­ity level was high. I don’t think we gave them any­thing easy,” Brownell said. “Just a wellplayed game by my team.”

The Tigers (14-8, 4-5 At­lantic Coast Con­fer­ence) kept up their dom­i­na­tion of Ge­or­gia Tech, win­ning for the 17th time in the last 21 meet­ings be­tween the teams. Clem­son swept the sea­son se­ries, fol­low­ing up a 72-60 vic­tory over the Yel­low Jack­ets last month.

That was Clem­son’s lone vic­tory in its first six ACC games, a stretch that in­cluded four road con­tests and three games against ranked op­po­nents, in­clud­ing No. 2 Duke and No. 3 Vir­ginia.

“We got off to lit­tle bit of a slow start in the league,” Brownell said. “When we were 1-5, we talked to the guys and told them not to worry about the big pic­ture, not to worry about the stand­ings, not to worry about any­thing but the team get­ting bet­ter.”

Ge­or­gia Tech (11-12, 3-7) lost its fourth in a row and looked like a team that has given up on an­other lost sea­son. The Yel­low Jack­ets haven’t made the NCAA Tour­na­ment since 2010.

“We had low en­ergy on both de­fense and of­fense,” point guard Jose Al­varado said. “We’ve got to pick it up or we’re go­ing to lose like this. We’ve got to keep fight­ing.”

The Yel­low Jack­ets closed the gap to 33-24 at half­time but didn’t have nearly enough of­fen­sive weapons to over­come such a hefty deficit. The home team made only nine of 31 shots inside the 3-point arc and fin­ished at 30 per­cent over­all from the field.

“Our de­fense was great,” Reed said. “That al­lowed us to get out in tran­si­tion and get some easy bas­kets.”

Skara and Aamir Simms scored 13 points apiece for Clem­son, which shot 49 per­cent.

James Banks III led Ge­or­gia Tech with 13 points to go with seven blocks — all in the first half. Bran­don Al­ston added 11 points.

Past­ner said it’s the worst of­fen­sive stretch he’s seen in his coach­ing ca­reer.

Ge­or­gia Tech has been held to fewer than 55 points in five of its last six games. Dur­ing that span, the Yel­low Jack­ets are shoot­ing just 36.5 per­cent (118 of 323).

“Un­for­tu­nately, I don’t have an­swers as to why we are like this of­fen­sively,” Past­ner said. “We just can’t keep scor­ing in the 40s.”

The best in­di­ca­tion of how much the Yel­low Jack­ets are strug­gling: They made only 3 of 8 shots un­der the bas­ket and fin­ished 7 of 22 in the lane against the Tigers.

Clem­son: The Tigers have feasted on the ACC’s bot­tom dwellers in their last two games, beat­ing Wake For­est and Ge­or­gia Tech by a com­bined 50 points.

Ge­or­gia Tech: Point guard Jose Al­varado, the team’s lead­ing scorer, has en­dured two straight brutal shoot­ing games. Af­ter miss­ing all 10 of his at­tempts in a loss at Florida State, he went 1 for 10 against the Tigers and fin­ished with just 3 points. The Yel­low Jack­ets sim­ply have no chance when Al­varado is so in­ef­fec­tive.

“I (stink) right now,” Al­varado said. “I need to get out of it. I don’t know what’s in my head, but I’ve got to start play­ing like the Jose who came to Ge­or­gia Tech.”

Clem­son: Re­turns home to host No. 11 Vir­ginia Tech on Satur­day, look­ing to climb to .500 in league play.

Ge­or­gia Tech: Hits the road Sun­day to face Notre Dame, a team the Yel­low Jack­ets de­feated 63-61 in their first meet­ing Jan. 22.

/ Athens Ban­ner-Her­ald-Joshua L. Jones

Mis­sis­sippi guard Devon­tae Shuler (2) moves the ball past Ge­or­gia guard Wil­liam Jack­son II (0) dur­ing Satur­day’s game in Athens.

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