ACC

No. 22 Clemson pulls away from The Citadel in season opener

Brad Brownell recaps Clemson’s win against The Citadel

Tigers scored 100 points in season opener
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Tigers scored 100 points in season opener

Clemson knows that it has a pair of elite guards in Marcquise Reed and Shelton Mitchell, but the Tigers will only live up to their top 25 preseason ranking if pieces step up around the two stars.

Reed and Mitchell had plenty of help Tuesday night in the season opener against The Citadel as Clemson cruised to a 100-80 win at Littlejohn Coliseum.

The 22nd-ranked Tigers built a 49-40 halftime lead and never looked back as Clemson reached the 100-point mark for the first time since 2009. The Tigers also had six players reach double figures for the first time since 2009.

“Just really pleased with our win tonight. The Citadel is a hard team to play,” Tigers coach Brad Brownell said. “They’re always going to be there because of the 3-point shot and you’ve just got to be smart.”

Reed led the way with 20 points and 13 rebounds, while Mitchell added 16 points and three assists.

Aamir Simms (16), Elijah Thomas (15), Clyde Trapp (13) and David Skara (11) also finished in double figures.

“I thought our guards were good again and great to see Clyde come off the bench and play well for us,” Brownell said. “Clyde is just one of those guys that’s just a really versatile guy because he can play a lot of different positions. He’s smart. He knows three positions. He can handle the ball at the point... Very valuable.”

Thomas, who missed both exhibition games with an ankle injury, was a game-time decision for Tuesday’s opener. The senior did not show any signs of being limited as he pulled down nine rebounds to go along with his 15 points in 24 minutes of action.

“I didn’t know if he’d be able to go today. He practiced about 20 minutes yesterday and he came to me in shootaround and said I wanted to try,” Brownell said. “It would have been hard to win without him because we just didn’t have much depth.”

The victory was also the 150th for Brownell during his time at Clemson.

“Just super blessed to still be at clemson and enjoy coaching here,” Brownell said. “To win 150 games I’ve had a lot of good players and coaches who are really the reason that happens so I’m excited and hope to get 150 more.”

The Citadel was led by Lew Stallworth, who scored 15 points and grabbed six rebounds. Kaelon Harris (11), Zane Najdawi (11) and Matt Frierson (12) also finished in double figures.

“I’m proud of my team. I think they played hard,” Bulldogs coach Duggar Baucom said. “Clemson’s a good team. They went to the Sweet 16 last year for a reason. They’re going to be a very, very good team and they are. I think they’re just going to keep getting better the more and more they play.”

Clemson hosts North Carolina Central on Friday at 7 p.m.

THE CITADEL (0-1) | Najdawi 3-8 5-6 11, Kern 2-5 5-5 9, Harris 4-4 1-2 11, Frierson 4-11 0-0 12, Stallworth 4-12 5-9 15, Georgiadis 0-1 0-0 0, A.Reed 4-5 0-0 8, Burgess 1-5 0-0 3, Rice 2-3 0-1 4, Brown 0-1 0-0 0, Guyton 0-0 0-0 0, Williams 2-3 0-0 5, Higgins 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 26-58 18-25 80.

CLEMSON (1-0) | Thomas 6-9 3-4 15, Simms 7-8 0-0 16, Skara 4-7 2-2 11, M.Reed 7-13 4-4 20, Mitchell 4-9 4-4 16, Tyson 0-3 4-6 4, White 0-0 0-0 0, Baehre 0-0 0-0 0, Newman 2-3 0-0 5, Fox 0-0 0-0 0, Trapp 4-8 4-5 13, Davis 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 34-61 21-25 100.

Halftime: Clemson 49-40. 3-Point Goals_The Citadel 10-27 (Frierson 4-10, Harris 2-2, Stallworth 2-3, Williams 1-2, Burgess 1-5, Rice 0-1, Najdawi 0-1, Brown 0-1, Kern 0-2), Clemson 11-26 (Mitchell 4-7, Simms 2-2, M.Reed 2-6, Newman 1-2, Skara 1-2, Trapp 1-4, Tyson 0-3). Fouled Out: Harris. Rebounds: The Citadel 23 (Stallworth 6), Clemson 37 (M.Reed 13). Assists: The Citadel 7 (Williams, Stallworth 3), Clemson 20 (M.Reed 4). Total Fouls: The Citadel 19, Clemson 20. A: 7,491 (10,000).

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