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What Brad Brownell Said After Clemson’s Loss to North Carolina

No. 16 Clemson fell to No. 8 North Carolina, 65-55, on Saturday at Littlejohn Coliseum. The loss marked the first time this season the Tigers have dropped back to back games. Here’s what coach Brad Brownell said afterwards.

On his team’s 1-for-18 shooting from three-point range:

“It was a tough night for us shooting. I’m proud of our team. Quick turnaround, I thought we really guarded hard and expended a tremendous amount of energy physically in the game. Guarding their guys and keeping them off the glass as well as we did, we did an unbelievable job in the first half. They did a little better job in the second half against us. But for whatever reason, we just didn’t make many shots.

“PJ (Hall) and Joe (Girard) had a tough day from (three-point distance). Those are our two main guys. They can really stroke it. You have those games. It’s disappointing. A lot of times when one of those guys has a (bad) night, the other two play well and the guys kind of mix it in and you’re fine. But when you’re playing a team as good as North Carolina, their defense is good.

“They’re tough, too. We talked about it in the pregame. Their defense in the last three or four games, you could see an uptick there. It was hard-fought. We only turned it over five times so we got plenty of shots. It was just one of those nights where we can’t make them. We just couldn’t get enough shots to go down.”

On the goal of playing better defense after Wednesday’s loss to Miami and Ian Schieffelin’s defensive effort:

“He was terrific. Obviously, if you tell me we’re going to hold them to 65, I think we’re going to have a great chance to win the game. Again, I thought our guys really competed and fought. They guarded a lot of their action really well. They did a really good job on RJ Davis. He still had 14 points. They did a solid job on (Armando) Bacot. He also had 14. But this is a game where you’ve got to make baskets.

“This one is pretty simple. I think I’ll be pleased when I watch the film of what our guys did on the defensive end. I’ve got to evaluate and make sure we’re getting some quality shots. I thought we got a lot of good looks. We had a few possessions that didn’t go our way. I thought we hurried on a couple and had a bad couple of possessions that really hurt us.

“One of the big plays in the game was when we tied it at 45-45. We’d been down a bit and made a couple of buckets and the building started to erupt a little bit.  Then they pushed it down the floor quick and we kind of got late getting matched up. Paxson (Wojcik) makes a 3 with PJ guarding him.

“That’s a tough shot with 8:20 to go and the building alive. So give him some credit because when you go back and look, if we get the stop there and now we’re coming down in transition, and we take the lead, things can change. But we didn’t get it. Got to go back to the drawing board and be a little bit better.”

Clemson returns to the floor Wednesday night when they take on Virginia Tech (9-4 overall, 1-1 conference) at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. EST. The game can be seen on ESPN.

Story originally appeared on Clemson Wire