RJ Davis' scoring milestone spoiled by Clemson upset in Chapel Hill | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Sunday / May 26.
  • RJ Davis’ scoring milestone spoiled by Clemson upset in Chapel Hill

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    By SAM LANCE

    North Carolina star guard RJ Davis passed the legendary Michael Jordan on UNC’s all-time scoring list on Tuesday night, but his milestone was spoiled by Clemson’s 80-76 upset of the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill.

    Coming into Tuesday’s game, Clemson was 1-60 all-time vs. North Carolina in Chapel Hill. That lone win came on Jan. 11, 2020, where Clemson won 79-76 in overtime. Now, the Tigers have a second.

    This was a big win for Clemson, who after an impressive 10-1 record in the non-conference, have mostly struggled in ACC play and are now situated on the NCAA tournament bubble. A road win against a likely No. 1 seed will be huge for the Tigers come Selection Sunday.

    “I think we’re playing better than our ACC record,” Clemson coach Brad Brownell said on postgame radio. “Our guys have really hung in there. I think they’ve battled. I think they’ve stayed pretty positive. Very connected, they’re working hard in practice everyday. We haven’t been giving in. We just haven’t had some good results… [North Carolina], it’s just a big win for us.”

    Seniors PJ Hall (25 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists) and Joe Girard (21 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists) led the way for Clemson. The two also combined for 9-of-20 shooting from the 3-point line. Junior forward Ian Schieffelin had a big game as well with a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double.

    “We knew that they were going to do a couple things in their pick-and-roll coverage that we kind of exploited,” Brownell said. “We knew if our guard attacked downhill, we could get a throwback three to some of our bigs. I told PJ, ‘knock these in man.'”

    As for the Tar Heels, their poor start was just too much to overcome. Clemson led 17-4 to start the game and were up by as many as 16 points in the first half. North Carolina put up a valiant fight to make it a game down the stretch and even tied it up at 70-70 with 4:17 to play. However, Clemson went on a killer 7-0 run to pretty much ice the game after the under-4 media timeout.

    “The tougher team won,” North Carolina coach Hubert Davis said on postgame radio. “Clemson had more energy, more effort, more attention to detail. They played harder than us. They were tougher than us. And they were more deserving of winning the game.”

    Senior center Armando Bacot continued his impressive scoring surge of late, finishing with 24 points and 13 rebounds. Davis chipped in 22 points and as mentioned, now sits at 1,794 career points, just ahead of Jordan’s 1,788 on North Carolina’s all-time scoring list. This now pushes Jordan out of the top 15 of all-time North Carolina scorers, as Davis sits in 15th.

    “There’s no player, no guard in the country that’s playing better than RJ Davis,” Jay Bilas said on ESPN. “RJ Davis never changes his expressions. When it’s going well, when it’s not. One of the hardest workers you will ever see.”

    North Carolina now falls to 18-5 overall and 10-2 in ACC play, and Clemson improves to 15-7 and 5-6 in conference play.

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