Clemson started slowly but came on strong in the second half to defeat South Carolina State 69-54 Friday night at Littlejohn.
“I felt like it was a workmen like win for us tonight. We were not as sharpe as we should have been, but we need to get better and we know that. I thought we made some good adjustments in the second half and our guys defended much better. We tried to emphasize going inside more and I thought Jerai and Milton both did a good job,” said Brownell.
Milton Jennings got his first double double of his career. Jennings scored 16 and pulled down 10 rebounds.
“He is a guy that you have to be a little patient with, and he has to know that you are with him and that you believe in him. He does not have a lot of experience, but his is comfortable playing a number of positions and stepping away from the basket. We have given him a chance to do that and that has him more comfortable. I am more pleased with the ten rebounds though,” said Jennings.
Jerai Grant also scored 16 and added eight rebounds. Demontez Stitt also played well scoring 14 for the Tigers.
Clemson shot 47 percent on the night from the field and 81 percent from the free throw line.
The Tigers came out cold Friday night and managed just one field goal in the first five minutes of the game. After five minutes the Tigers trailed 6-2.
With twelve minutes to go in the first half Clemson took their first lead on a Milton Jennings jumper. SC State fought back and held the lead with 10 minutes to go in the half.
Clemson built a seven point lead with five minutes to go in the half after Andre Young hit a layup. Demontez Stitt hit a three-p0inter with two seconds to go in the half and the Tigers led 32-26 at the half.
Coach Brownell was not pleased with the first half, but made some adjustments at the half.
The Tigers only allowed one field goal in the first nine minutes of the second half. Clemson took advantage and built a 15 point lead in the first few minutes of the second half. The Tigers held a double-digit lead the rest of the game.
Milton Jennings and Jerai Grant helped the Tigers stretch the lead in the second half.
“In the second half we did a better job of going inside,” said Brownell.
Demontez Stitt came into the game shooting only 23 percent from three, but went 4-5 from behind the line Friday night.
“We needed that. Andre had a tough night from the field,” said Brownell.
The Tigers moved to 5-1 on the season and will next face Michigan Tuesday night a 9 in Littlejohn.