Tuesday night, Syracuse got just enough stops in the second half to defeat Clemson at home, 91-78. The Orange (9-9, 3-4 ACC) held the Tigers (10-8, 2-5) to 6-of-17 shooting in the final 11 minutes of the game while going 9-of-16 from the field and adding 9-of-12 free throws in the same span.
SU put in a strong effort on the glass, outrebounding Clemson by a 39-26 advantage, giving up just four offensive rebounds. The Tigers also struggled from long range, as Syracuse gave up 8-of-27 (29.6 percent) three-pointers in the game.
The Orange used an early 18-3 burst to take a 21-9 lead less than eight minutes into the action. SU ran off ten straight points to grab a seven-point lead, then tacked on eight more after a Tiger three-point play.
Clemson came roaring back, using a 9-0 streak to pull within a deuce midway through the opening half, then tied it at 27 on two foul shots with 6:33 left. Buddy Boeheim scored the final nine points of the half for Syracuse, including outscoring Clemson, 7-2, in under a minute to pull the Orange in front at the break, 40-39.
SU ground out six consecutive points to get some breathing room at 58-50 just over six minutes after the break. The Tigers fought back within three, but Syracuse responded with an 8-0 burst for a 71-60 lead with just over nine minutes to play.
Clemson had one more push, getting within 78-72, but the Orange responded with seven straight points, closing the streak with a Jesse Edwards dunk off a slick pass from Joe Girard III and an Edwards three-point play on a putback of his own miss for a comfortable 13-point cushion with under two minutes left.
Buddy Boeheim led all scorers by dropping in 25 for SU, including four three-pointers. Joe Girard III had an excellent game, hitting 4-of-5 three-pointers as he piled up 23 points and snagged four steals. Jesse Edwards had a monstrous night, finishing with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocks. Jimmy Boeheim also had a double-double, finishing with 13 points and ten rebounds.
P.J. Hall led Clemson with 19 points and 11 rebounds in the game. David Collins added 18 for the Tigers, who also got 11 points from Chase Hunter, including three triples.