Reed propels Clemson to 82-69 romp over Pittsburgh
By Associated Press
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) Clemson senior guard Marcquise Reed typically isn't a big talker, but he expressed himself repeatedly Tuesday night.
Reed scored 26 points and led a barrage from 3-point range as the Tigers rolled past Pittsburgh 82-69 in an Atlantic Coast Conference game at Littlejohn Coliseum.
"Marcquise has a quiet confidence about him and goes about his work the right way, but he was more vocal tonight," Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. "When he tells a guy something, they usually listen."
Reed's message apparently came through loud and clear as the Tigers rediscovered their shooting touch from long range, connecting on a season-high 14 3-point shots and shooting 51.9 percent from beyond the arc.
Coming off a game in which he missed four free throws in the final seconds of an overtime defeat at N.C. State, Reed - a career 84 percent free-throw shooter - made all six of his free throws against the Panthers. He shot free throws in Littlejohn Coliseum immediately upon the team's return from N.C. State, which sent another message.
"He's very well respected by our players because he's so competitive," Brownell said. "You could tell he was focused tonight."
Reed, the Tigers' leading scorer at 19.3 points per game, made 8 of 13 shots from the floor against Pitt and his confidence never wavered as the Tigers (12-8, 2-5) snapped a two-game losing streak and handed the Panthers their 19th consecutive road defeat.
Pitt (12-9, 2-6) has lost four straight games.
Reed's backcourt mate, senior guard Shelton Mitchell, broke out of his recent slump with 14 points. Mitchell entered the game having made only 2 of his 19 attempts from 3-point range in ACC games, but was a perfect 4 of 4 from beyond the arc in the first half.
His four 3-pointers matched his career high and helped the Tigers to their largest lead of the game - a 28-point halftime advantage at 51-23.
"It was an outstanding first half by our team," Brownell said.
Clemson made 67.7 percent of its shots in the first half, which is the highest first-half percentage in nine seasons under Brownell. The Tigers' 51 points in the first half also matched the most first-half points scored in the Brownell era.
"They got off to a great start and we gave them no resistance," first-year Pitt coach Jeff Capel said. "Marcquise is a veteran player and he really got them going early."
Sophomore guard Clyde Trapp, who contributed to Clemson's long-range assault by making four 3-pointers, added a career-high 16 points for the Tigers, while Javan White, a graduate transfer from Oral Roberts, scored 10 points - his career best as a Tiger.
Clemson finished with a season-high 14 3-pointers and shot 51.9 percent from beyond the arc.
Freshman guard Xavier Johnson paced Pitt, which never drew closer than 17 points in the second half, by scoring a career-high 30 points, making 10 of 14 shots from the floor. Senior swingman Jared Wilson-Frame added 14 points for the Panthers.
THE BIG PICTURE
Pittsburgh: Pitt simply can't buy a road victory. The Panthers have lost 16 consecutive ACC games away from home, but may have two opportunities to end that streak on the horizon - Pitt plays at Wake Forest (1-6) on Feb. 5 and at Boston College (2-4) on Feb. 12. The Panthers' last road victory came at Boston College on Feb. 8, 2017.
Clemson: Clemson moved into 11th place in the 15-team ACC and despite a 2-5 record kept alive flickering hopes for a second consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament. Considering the Tigers returned four starters from last year's 25-win, Sweet 16 team and were picked to finish sixth in the ACC, the Tigers haven't lived up to expectations. But with six of their remaining 11 league games set for Littlejohn Coliseum, the Tigers still have a chance to make some noise.
Pittsburgh plays host to Syracuse on Saturday at the Petersen Events Center.
Clemson faces Wake Forest in a second consecutive game at Littlejohn Coliseum on Sunday.
Updated January 30, 2019