Big man control the paint in the Tigers' first-round win
SAN DIEGO — It did not take long for New Mexico State to figure out it was not going to get much action at the rim on Friday night.
In the first five minutes of No. 5 Clemson’s 79-68 win over the No. 12 seed Aggies in the Midwest Region’s first-round game, Elijah Thomas blocked two shots and set the tone for the rest of the night at the Aiejas Arena.
“Eli was a beast tonight,” Clemson guard Shelton Mitchell said afterward.
The Tigers’ game plan was to be as physical as possible and let the Aggies know they could not push them around like they have done so many other teams this year.
Thomas had nine of his 10 rebounds in the first half, establishing the middle for Clemson in the 11-point win. He also had six points and two assists in the victory.