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Feb 6, 2024 9:35 pm

Clemson pulls off rare road upset of No. 3 UNC

Clemson, North Carolina

PJ Hall scored 25 points and Joseph Girard III had 21 as Clemson upset No. 3 North Carolina 80-76 on Tuesday night in Chapel Hill, N.C.

It marked just the second time in 62 tries that Clemson (15-7, 5-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) won in Chapel Hill. Clemson’s lone other win inside the Dean Smith Center happened in overtime in 2020.

The Tigers, who earned a victory that surely will boost their NCAA Tournament resume, also got nine rebounds from Hall. He and Girard combined for 9-of-20 shooting from 3-point range.

Ian Schieffelin added 14 points and 11 boards for Clemson, which has alternated wins and losses over the past eight games.

The Tar Heels (18-5, 10-2) fell to an unranked opponent for the second time in a span of three games. Armando Bacot led the way for North Carolina with 24 points and 13 rebounds, while RJ Davis had 22 points and Harrison Ingram added 11.

Clemson never trailed.

The Tigers opened the game with a 15-2 run that was punctuated by back-to-back 3-pointers from Hall, both of which were assisted by Girard.

Bacot then scored North Carolina’s next 12 points, trimming the deficit to six points. Clemson later responded with a 7-0 run to take a 16-point lead — its largest of the game — after a layup by Jack Clark. At the break, the Tigers were up by nine points thanks to sharp shooting (48.5 percent) and a funky 3-2 zone defense that limited the Tar Heels to 31.4 percent shooting.

North Carolina started the second half effectively, using a 15-8 run to trim the deficit to two points on a 3-pointer from Davis with 14:28 left.

With 4:17 to play, the game was tied at 70-70 after a transition 3-pointer from Ingram that was assisted by Elliot Cadeau. Clemson answered once more, though, as Hall made a layup in traffic, Girard sank a 3-pointer and Clark hit two free throws to push the lead to seven points with 1:42 to play.

The Tigers then closed out the win at the foul line.

North Carolina wound up with a 43-42 rebounding edge.

–Field Level Media

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