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Clemson Basketball: Three takeaways from the Tigers' first ACC game

Clemson wins their first ACC contest, taking down Pitt to remain undefeated.

While college football fans of the ACC devolved into madness on Sunday, there was another chapter in a developing story for the undefeated Clemson Tigers

Coming in at 6-0, they took on a 5-2 Pittsburgh team for their first ACC battle of the season. The Tigers came up big with a final score of 79-70. Here are three takeaways from the weekend matchup:

Clemson Pitt Basketball

Clemson improved to 7-0 for the first time since 2008.

1. Joe Girard and PJ Hall are becoming one of the premier duos in the conference and the country.

- PJ Hall entered the contest leading the entire ACC in scoring at 21.3 points a game and he only added to that number pouring in 22 on a great shooting effort. He went 9 of 14 from the field and 3 of 6 from 3 not to mention his 11 rebounds as well. Joe Girard had a slower start to the year but is gaining confidence with his past few performances including a team-leading 25 points and six 3s against the Panthers. If those two players continue to shoot a high percentage and take good shots the Tiger offense is going to be tough to slow down.

2. Rebounding continues to be a strength of this team

- Clemson has only been out-rebounded twice this season and it's no coincidence that those 2 matches were the closest in final scores as well. Against Pitt, the Tigers dominated the boards with a 39 to 26 advantage, including 10 offensive rebounds. Ian Schieffelin was tremendous as he grabbed a team-high 17 boards and continues to move up into the top 5 rebounders in all of the ACC. 

3. Defending the three proved big for this victory

- Pitt came into this match averaging close to 85 points a game, which was good for 2nd in the ACC only behind North Carolina. Clemson held them to just 70 largely behind their effort to make things tough from behind the arc. The Panthers shot just 8 of 23 (35%) which isn't awful but when you factor in that 6 of those were made by leading scorer Blake Hinson it shows how much the rest of the team struggled to find the bottom of the net.

Overall this was a great start to the conference campaign for the Tigers and it will now set its sights on a surprisingly huge rivalry matchup against South Carolina on Wednesday. Both teams are still undefeated and only one team in the state of South Carolina will hold that honor come Thursday morning.