College of Charleston defeated Clemson 72-69 Saturday night at Littlejohn. The Tigers fell behind big in the first half but the second half rally fell short.
“It’s a tough day to be a Tiger. Give Charleston a lot of credit. We knew coming into the game that their starting five can all really score. They make you pay for any defensive mistakes. For whatever reason, our team was a little lethargic in the beginning. We missed a lot of shots that we need to make offensively. Defensively, we just didn’t have the grit that you need to compete with a team with the talented guys that they have. In the second half, we fought hard and gave ourselves a chance to get back into
the game. They had guys step up and make big plays and big shots late in the shot clock. That’s what you have to do to grab a road win, and they did,” said Brownell.
Devin Booker led the Tigers with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Tanner Smith added 15 while Milton Jennings poored in 14.
The Tigers struggled from the field shooting 44 percent including 29 percent from three.
College of Charleston took a 15 point lead to the locker room. Clemson fought back in the second half, but couldn’t win down the stretch.
“We just weren’t as gritty, competitive, ready for a fight as we needed to be. I think we just kind of tried to get ourselves into the game. There wasn’t a great crowd and it was kind of stale, so we had to be ready. Charleston had a big opportunity to come into our building and win, and they seized the opportunity. We had poor communication and poor energy. By the time we rectified that, we were well behind. Against a good team like that, it’s going to be a battle,” said Brownell.
Devin Booker tipped in a basket with 1:18 to cut the College of Charleston lead to 71-69 but couldn’t get any closer.
The Tigers moved to 2-1 on the season with the loss. Clemson will host Coastal Carolina Tuesday night at 9:00.