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Clemson drops first game to No. 11 Xavier

Nov 11, 2016; Clemson, SC, USA; Clemson Tigers forward Donte Grantham (15) dribbles the ball in the first half against the Georgia Bulldogs at Littlejohn Coliseum. The Tigers won 74-64. Mandatory Credit: Dawson Powers-USA TODAY Sports

Xavier’s J.P. Macura scored 23 of his game-high 28 in the first half as he paced No. 11 Xavier to an 83-77 victory over Clemson on Friday at the Tire Pros Invitational in Orlando, Florida.

The Tigers (2-1) were led by Donte Grantham’s 21 points as the junior shot 7-of-15 from the field and had four assists. Guard Gabe DeVoe scored 16 points and had eight rebounds. DeVoe also had five assists.

“I’m just proud of the way our guys competed,” Clemson head coach Brad Brownell said on the Clemson Radio Network following the game.

Clemson will play the loser of the Northern Iowa vs. Oklahoma game at 5 p.m. on Sunday.

All five of Clemson’s starters scored in double digits. Jaron Blossomgame scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half, while Avry Holmes added 12 points and center Sidy Djitte scored 11 points to go along with seven rebounds.

Xavier (4-0) led by as many as 11 points in the first and second half, and never let Clemson get any closer than three points. All-American Trevon Bluiett scored 21 points and had four assists.

The Tigers pulled within three points, 63-60, as Djitte completed an 8-0 run with a putback with 6:24 to go in the game. But missed free throws and missed opportunities doomed Clemson’s comeback bid down the stretch as Xavier hung on for the six-point win and advanced to Tire Pros Invitational Championship Game.

–Photo Credit: Dawson Powers-USA TODAY Sports

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