PITTSBURGH — Clemson shot over 50 percent from 3-point range as the Tigers shot their way through a Pitt comeback bid, defeating the Panthers, 72-52 at Petersen Events Center on Wednesday.
The Tigers had a 15-point lead early in the second half that evaporated in a flurry, as the Panthers cut the lead all the way to six points after a pair of Xavier Johnson free throws with 7:03 to play.
But Clemson kept shooting and they kept falling. The Tigers entered the game shooting 30.9% from 3-point range as a team, which was 301st in the country.
In this one, Clemson shot 13 of 22 from 3-point range, including a dagger from freshman guard Al-Amir Dawes to put Clemson back up by more than 10 points, blunting the Panthers’ comeback charge.
Dawes finished with 18 points and was 4 of 7 from 3-point range and Tevin Mack had 16 points and was 3 of 3 from deep as Clemson bombed its way to victory.
It was the opposite story for the Panthers, who shot 29.8% from the floor against a Clemson zone that did not allow any penetration from lead guards Xavier Johnson and Trey McGowens. Those two finished a combined 2 for 20 from the floor. Johnson was 0 for 9.
Freshman Justin Champagnie had 11 points and six rebounds to lead Pitt in both categories. Au’Diese Toney scored 10.
Ryan Murphy played 16 minutes in his return from a concussion, but was held scoreless. Eric Hamilton injured his right ankle when the landed on the ball after a slam dunk with 1:05 remaining and did not return.
Up next, Pitt (15-10, 6-8 in ACC) will travel to Virginia Tech on Saturday for a 6 p.m. tip.