Tigers Down Presbyterian College, 69-41
By: CU SID
Sidy Djitte posted his second career double-double, producing 12 points and 13 rebounds. Three players reached double figures in all, including Avry Holmes (12) and Gabe DeVoe (11). Clemson shot just 5-23 from three, but converted 16-21 at the free throw line.
Clemson’s offense struggled to find the basket early, making just four of its first 11 attempts from the field. With the Tigers up just 16-13, DeVoe connected on Clemson’s first four-point play of the season. Moments later, he picked up a steal and jammed in two more for his first dunk of the season. The flush gave the Tigers a 24-15 lead.
The Tigers pushed the advantage to 36-22 later in the period when Donte Grantham connected on his 18th three-pointer of the season. But PC scored the final four points of half, including two at the buzzer off a steal.
Clemson came out more purposeful in the second half, stretching the cushion to 54-32 after consecutive long balls from Holmes and Grantham. Djitte went on a second half scoring binge, converting three straight buckets to help push the Tiger lead to 62-34.
The Tiger defense held a third straight opponent to less than 30 percent from the floor. The Blue Hose shot just 27.6 percent, the Tigers’ best field goal percentage defense in 173 games under Brad Brownell. Clemson also held Blue Hose leading scorer DeSean Murray to 15 points, nearly seven below his average. Murray was scoreless after halftime.
The Tigers return to action Friday against the 25th-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks, who are 9-0 on the season. The two rivals will meet at 7 p.m. in a game that will be live streamed on ESPN3.
Clemson held Presbyterian to 41 points Tuesday, the third opponent with less than 50 this season. The Tigers are 34-2 all-time under head coach Brad Brownell when holding opponents to 50 or less.
- Presbyterian shot just 27.6 percent, the lowest figure allowed by Clemson’s program in 173 games under Brownell.
Sidy Djitte posted his second double-figure scoring effort of the season with 12 points. The junior was 6-8 from the floor.
Djitte had his second career double-double Tuesday, contributing a career-best 13 rebounds against the Blue Hose.
Gabe DeVoe notched double figures for the third time, and first time since Nov. 23 against UMass. He finished with 11 points, all in the opening half of play.
DeVoe made Clemson’s first four-point play of the season. It was the first by a Tiger since Ibrahim Djambo did it against Belmont in the 2014 NIT quarterfinals.
Jaron Blossomgame had one blocked shot, pushing his season total to 17. He already has his single-season high in three years as a Tiger.
Landry Nnoko matched a season-high with nine rebounds.
- Ty Hudson took a charge in his second straight game.
Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownell
“Good bounce back by our guys. I thought Jordan Roper and Landry (Nnoko) especially were guys that have logged a lot of minutes lately, and still had live legs. I think a couple other guys looked a little tired, JB (Jaron Blossomgame) and Avry (Holmes), but that is to be expected because they have played a lot. We have played a lot of physical teams recently, especially Alabama. But I thought we did the things we needed to do to win. We made it a little hard on (DeSean) Murray, he is undersized guy that just knows how to score. We made him take a lot of shots to get his points. We did a better job of blocking out and getting out in transition, got a few easy baskets, but we didn’t shoot the ball very well. I thought Landry and Sidy (Djitte) both utilized their size, and we tried to go inside when we could. Those guys finished and had good games as well. We had great productivity from the center position.”
On the importance of the win with South Carolina coming up next:
“We have done a good job in these kinds of games, we played well and defended well in these games (vs. mid-majors), and I think played at a pretty good level. South Carolina is certainly playing exceptionally well right now, they are a big strong team and are always very physical. They always have big guards, so that is a problem for us at times. We will have to match that. The quick turnaround is challenging. We would like to have a little more time to get ready for them and rest up a little bit. You know, we just have to get ready to go back at it, we will be careful with our players tomorrow in what we do, probably have a good practice on Thursday, be physical with them and get ready to play.”
On Djitte starting in place of Nnoko, and the center position overall:
“It is just a little bit of a switch, we are just trying to get Sidy going a little bit. Sometimes we want to be careful with Nnoko and his fouls, and for him to not get one right at the beginning of the first half and then take him out and worry about another quick one. It obviously hasn’t affected (Landry) at all, he is playing very well coming off the bench. Maybe that is a good thing, but we will see. He is a little better offensive player than Sidy, who is more rugged and physical and handles physical post players probably better in some ways. But Landry is a better shot-blocker. Sidy probably averages more rebounds per minute than Landry, so there is give and take. But that is something we like about the two guys together. I think Sidy’s improvement is showing, and I think we are fine at the five spot with those two guys. Legend unfortunately fouled out today, but you see glimpses of some really good things. Today, the dunk was really good. But he has a long way to go in terms of development, and some of that is the reason why he fouls, because he really doesn’t understand all the positioning and the physicality you have to play with at this level. But he is a guy who hasn’t played much, so we are going to try and get him some playing time.”
Presbyterian Head Coach Gregg Nibert
“They (Clemson) came out and got all over us coming out of the half. We kind of lost our minds a little bit, and did things that we don’t normally do. Our toughness showed in the first half, and a little lack of toughness showed in the second half.”
“Credit Brad (Brownell) and his guys for getting after us and forcing us into some bad shots. Brad does a heck of a job defensively, and we matched their defense and made some hustle plays in the first half and I couldn’t have been prouder. But they came after us in the second half and we couldn’t respond like we wanted to. When they jumped on us, we lost our heads a little bit, and we just can’t do that.”
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