Clemson Destroys NC State in Raleigh

CLEMSON, S.C. — The Clemson men’s basketball team built a 13-point lead by the first media timeout of the game and never looked back as they routed NC State, 96-71, Saturday at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C.

The win was just what the doctor ordered in the Tigers’ hopes of finishing in the ACC’s top four and making the NCAA Tournament.

The Wolfpack came into the day ranked No. 36 in the NCAA’s NET ranking, giving the No. 74 Tigers a fourth Quan 1 win. They are now 4-3 against Quad 1 opponents this season. Any road win over a top 75 team in the NET is considered a Quad 1 win.

“We are on the bubble, obviously. So, this is a big win for us,” Clemson head coach Brad Brownell said.

The victory, which completed a season sweep of NC State, allowed the Tigers to move within one win of clinching a top-four seed and a two-day by in the upcoming ACC Tournament. No ACC team that has finished in the top four of the league’s standings has missed an expanded NCAA Tournament Field.

Clemson (21-8, 13-5 ACC) was led by a career and game high 28 points from Brevin Galloway, while PJ Hall added 20 points. Chase Hunter dropped in 15 points, while Hunter Tyson added had 12 points and 11 rebounds, his 14th double-double of the year.

“Brevin shot it great from three. We got a good mix from PJ. I thought Chase was aggressive getting to the basket and we just played extremely well,” Brownell said. “So, it was a lot of fun for us today.”

The Tigers, who finished the afternoon shooting 60 percent from the field, led by as many as 30 points in the second half. The last was an 81-51 lead with 8:37 to play on a RJ Godfrey layup. The Wolfpack got no closer than 21 points the rest of the way.

“We have a lot of respect for Kevin (Keatts) and his team and their program. Kevin has done a really good job this year. They are having an unbelievable season. He is coaching the fire out of those guys,” Brownell said. “They have been playing about as well as anybody in our league. So, for us to come here and get a win, it means a lot to us, and we are very proud of that.”

Clemson was also 10-of-19 (53 percent) from 3-point range and made 18-of-22 foul shots. The Tigers did not trail at any point in the game.

“Obviously, it was a lights-out performance by our team,” Brownell said. “It was completely different than last week when we could not make a shot. We made most of them today. It was just one of those days when the ball seemed to fall in.”

NC State (22-8, 12-7 ACC) was led by DJ Burns’ 24 points. The Wolfpack saw their 8-game home ACC win streak come to an end, which tied a program record.

Clemson led by 25 points at halftime, 54-29.

The Tigers came out hot, connecting on six of its first seven three-point attempts. A Tyson jumper in the lane with 9:16 to go in the first half gave them a 35-15 lead at the time.

Clemson closed the first 20 minutes on a 7-0 run, as Galloway drained a three, Hall made a jumper from the elbow and Beadle hit a driving jump shot with six seconds to play to extend the lead to 54-29.

The Tigers shot 62 percent (18-29) from the field in the first half and 57 percent (8-14) from behind the arc. They held NC State to 38 percent shooting overall (12-32) and 27 percent from three (4-15). They also had a 21-13 advantage on the boards.

Galloway scored 20 of his 28 points in the opening half after going 5-of-6 from the field, including 4-of-5 from three-point range. Hall had 16 first-half points on 7-of-9 shooting, including 2-of-3 from downtown.

Stat of the game: Clemson’s 25-point win is the Tigers’ largest margin of victory over the Wolfpack since a 66-31 victory on January 13, 1940. The 25-point road win is also the fourth largest by a Clemson team in an ACC road game. The victory is also Clemson’s fifth ACC road win of the season, tying the 1986-’87 team’s school record.  

Injury update: After drawing a charge in the first half from NC State’s DJ Burns, Clemson’s PJ Hall was seen wearing a back brace on the bench in the second half. He did finish the game.

“He fell on his back in the game (today). He is sore, but I think he will be okay, as far as I know,” Brownell said.

Player of the Game: Brevin Galloway had his best game as a Clemson Tiger, as he scored a game-high 28 points, his most as a Tiger. He finished the day 7-of-9 from the field overall and 4-of-5 from behind the arc. He was also 10-for-10 from the free throw line. His previous high had been 27 points back in 2020 when he played for the College of Charleston.

Key Moment: It is rare a key moment comes early in a basketball game, but that was the case on Saturday. Following a Brevin Galloway three-pointer, which also drew a foul, NC State head coach Kevin Keatts was slapped with a technical foul. Tyson Hunter made both technical foul shots, while Galloway made the free throw to complete the four-point play. After the foul shots, Clemson extended its 13-6 lead to 19-6.

Up next: Clemson will play Tuesday at No. 6 Virginia. Tip is set for 7 p.m.

–photo courtesy of Clemson Athletics Communications

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