Entering Saturday shooting nearly 45 percent from the field before Saturday’s game at the Arkansas Razorbacks, the Clemson Tigers were done in by particularly poor accuracy from the field in a 74-68 defeat in Fayetteville, AR.
Clemson finished just 20-for-61 (32.8 percent) from the field in the defeat, which left the Tigers at 7-2 for the season. The Tigers were only 3-for-15 (20 percent) from three-point range. Clemson really wasn’t great from inside the three-point arceither, shooting just 17-for-46 (just 37 percent).
Clemson, who trailed by eight points at the half, wouldn’t have been in the game at all had it not been for their work at the free-throw line, where the Tigers reversed their shooting trend during the run of play and finished 25-for-29 from the line (86.2 percent).
Clemson’s poor shooting from the field cost them a chance to notch what would have been a quality road win over an SEC opponent. With so many games between teams from power conferences early in the season being moved to neutral sites in the name of TV exposure and such, the Tigers threw away a chance to knock off a quality opponent on their home court — something the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee tends to look favorably on come the end of the season.
Clemson’s shooting woes look even worse when factoring in that 6-foot-6 junior forward K.J. McDaniels went 9-for-17 from the field, meaning he had almost half of all the field goals the Tigers made on the afternoon. McDaniels finished the game with an impressive 27 points and 11 rebounds.
While McDaniels was almost single-handedly lifting his team to victory, the rest of the Clemson players offered him very little help. They shot 11-for-44 from the field (25 percent), and only two others players, guards Damarcus Harrison and Rod Hall, finished in double figures in scoring, with 13 and 10 points, respectively. Center Sidy Djitte did add 10 rebounds, but was 0-for-4 from the field.
Arkansas didn’t have a great day shooting the ball either, finishing at just better than 43 percent from the field. But that was more than enough to win on a day when they were outrebounded, 45-30. However, even that stat is misleading in considering Clemson’s performance, since 19 of the Tigers’ rebounds were of their own missed shots, of which there were plenty.
Clemson has a chance to redeem themselves in a similar spot on Dec. 19 when they visit the Auburn Tigers (4-2).