Clemson (16-9) at Georgia Tech (13-13)
02/22/2014 7:28 AM
02/22/2014 7:59 AM
GAME NOTES: The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will wrap up their final homestand of the regular season when they host the Clemson Tigers for an Atlantic Coast Conference clash at McCamish Pavilion.
Clemson snapped a three-game slide on Tuesday night by dismantling NC State, 73-56. The 72 points were the most the Tigers have scored against an ACC team this season, and they are 8-0 overall when reaching the 70-point mark.
Meanwhile, Georgia Tech hopes to finish off its four-game homestand with an even split. The Yellow Jackets fell at home to fifth-ranked Duke on Tuesday night by a 68-51 final. Following this tilt, they'll hit the road for three straight, beginning at Notre Dame on Wednesday.
Clemson has won each of the last eight meetings against GT, including three straight in Atlanta, and it leads the all-time series by a 64-59 margin.
Clemson boasts the nation's second-ranked scoring defense, which has limited foes to just 56.0 ppg. The Tigers are fourth-best against 3-pointers (.275) and are on pace to set a single-season school record. However, defense is not their only strong point. Rod Hall scored a career-high 20 points against NC State, thanks in part to a perfect 8-of-8 showing at the free-throw line. Fellow guard Damarcus Harrison chipped in with 14 points, his highest scoring output since December. Down low, K.J. McDaniels scored 12 points and blocked six shots. His 2.88 blocks-per-game average is on pace to be the best mark for a Tigers player since Sharone Wright in 1993-94. McDaniels is posting a team- best 17.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game this season, although he is the only player averaging double figures for Clemson.
For Georgia Tech, guards Trae Golden (13.4 ppg, 3.1 apg) and Marcus Georges- Hunt (12.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg) lead the way. That duo has accounted for more than 40 percent of the team's 3-point production, but they are shooting only a combined 31.7 percent from the perimeter. Golden has also battled a groin injury that kept him out of the last two games, although he is considered questionable for this contest. Should he be unable to suit up, Daniel Miller (11.4 ppg, 7.7 rpg) and Robert Carter Jr. (9.9 ppg, 8.5 rpg) figure to get more looks in the paint. Carter tallied 13 points and eight boards off the bench against Duke, but Tech was simply unable to keep pace with a Blue Devils squad that went 10-of-18 from 3-point range (.556). Kammeon Holsey and Chris Bolden rounded out the Yellow Jackets double-digit scorers with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Golden's availability and health will certainly factor into this matchup. Still, Clemson has had the upper hand in the last eight head-to-head meetings and brings a better record into this game.
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