CLEMSON, S.C. (AP)PJ Hall scored 17 points and Brevin Galloway added 14 as No. 24 Clemson used a fast start to put away Georgia Tech 72-51 on Tuesday night, continuing its surprising start in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The Tigers (17-4) are 9-1 and in first place midway through the ACC season. They stayed that way by getting out quickly on the struggling Yellow Jackets (8-12, 1-9), who’ve lost their past six games.
Clemson came out fast, playing like a team on top in the ACC. The Tigers got a 3-pointer from Hunter Tyson on their opening possession – his second straight after hitting the game-winning three to beat Virginia Tech 51-50 last Saturday – and pair by Galloway.
The Boston College transfer was fouled as he made another 3 and converted the foul shot for a four-point play.
By the time Hall finished a three-point play, the Tigers were ahead 15-2 less than five minutes in.
Clemson, though, couldn’t sustain its early shooting touch and Georgia Tech used a 12-2 run to get itself back in it and trail 25-22.
But Galloway and reserve Chauncey Wiggins fueled another burst with consecutive threes to restore Clemson’s double-digit edge.
It was more of the same in the second half. The got a three-point play by the 6-foot-10 Hall and a three by Dillon Hunter as they opened the period on a 12-6 run and steadily increased its lead.
The Yellow Jackets could not keep up and were swept in the regular season by the Tigers for the first time since 2018-19.
Ja’von Franklin had 12 points to lead Georgia Tech. Miles Kelly, the Jackets’ leading scorer coming in at 13.6 points a game, finished with nine on 4-of-12 shooting. He made just one of his six attempts from behind the arc.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets are offensively challenged this season – they’re next to last in ACC shooting percentage – and that showed itself once more against Clemson. Georgia Tech missed eight of its 11 3-pointers in the opening half to fall into a hole they couldn’t get out of.
Clemson: Maybe it’s time to pay more attention to the Tigers, who are the ACC’s only one-loss team halfway through conference play. Hall is an inside force while versatile forwards like Tyson and Galloway provide outside shooting and leadership. Clemson hasn’t had as complete a team since its 2017-18 group that advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16.
Georgia Tech returns home to play Duke on Saturday
Clemson is at Florida State on Saturday.
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