Sluggish start turns into rout in Tigers’ exhibition win

Sluggish start turns into rout in Tigers’ exhibition win

Basketball

Sluggish start turns into rout in Tigers’ exhibition win

It was not pretty, but who expects an exhibition basketball game at the first of November to be pretty.

Regardless, Clemson used a strong surge to end the first half and then a big run to start the second half as they beat Augusta, 80-56, at Littlejohn Coliseum Thursday in Clemson.

In all, Clemson outscored Augusta 28-6 during that stretch.

The Tigers, who will open the season on Nov. 10 at home against Western Carolina, were led by Donte Grantham’s 18 points, while Shelton Mitchell scored 13. Marquise Reed added 12 points, as did Gabe DeVoe and Elijah Thomas had 10 in the victory to go along with nine rebounds.

Clemson trailed 31-22 with 4:46 to play in the opening half when Viad Cobzaru made two free throws for the Jags. But thanks to baskets from Mitchell, Reed and DeVoe, the Tigers rallied to outscore the Jaguars 9-2 to close the first half.

Grantham and DeVoe combined to hit three straight three-points to open the second half as Clemson went on a 13-1 run to take control of the game. The Tigers never trailed again as they cruised to the easy victory.

Clemson will be back in action on Sunday when it hosts Tennessee in a second exhibition game as the two agreed to play to help raise money for hurricane relief from those battered by the storms earlier this fall.

Admission is free and it tips off at 12:30 p.m.

Sunday will also mark the first-time Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes will be back in Clemson since leaving Clemson to take the Texas job back in 1998. Barnes led the Tigers to three straight NCAA Basketball Tournaments from 1996-’98.

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