Marcquise Reed led No.19 Clemson to a 3-0 start to the season as the Tigers defeated Sam Houston State 74-59 at Littlejohn Coliseum on Wednesday.
It wasn’t the prettiest of starts for Clemson as the team had a tough time managing possession in the first half. With a big run near the midpoint of the second half, the Tigers were able to take over the game and secure the comfortable victory.
It was a big night for Reed as he led all scorers with his 26 points. While Reed was the go-to scorer on one end of the court, he managed to get it done on the defensive end as well, recording two steals to go along with five rebounds.
“It helps a lot having guys in the game that have made plays and are comfortable,” said Clemson head coach Brad Brownell. “That’s why everyone wants to stay old, you want to have older guards.”
Fellow guard Shelton Mitchell had a solid overall game posting 13 points to go along with four boards and four assists. Forward Aamir Simms continued his strong start to the season as the forward put together 12 points, eight rebounds, three assists and a pair of blocked shots. Simms went 2-for-2 on the day from the three-point line, making him 7-of-8 on the season.
“I really was expecting him to shoot well this season,” said Brownell. “He works on it all the time. I thought he rebounded the ball better tonight which is what’s important and what I’m really concerned with. His passes were really nice. I think he had three assists tonight.”
Clemson made over half of its shots on the night, shooting 53.1 percent from the field. The team also shot efficiently from the three-point line, making 9-of-23 attempts.
Kai Mitchell led Sam Houston State on the night with 14 points.
Clemson went on a 12-0 run with in the middle of the first half that gave the Tigers a 12-0 at the time. Sam Houston State later got within six points, but another 9-0 run for Clemson helped seal the win.
“I just think we played a very clean second half,” Brownell said. “We executed our stuff. We shot sixty percent and I think we slowed it down a little bit. Defensively, we were a little more solid against the pick and roll coverage. I think we just played a better second half.”
Clemson’s Shelton Mitchell led the Tigers at the end of the first half with 10 points, while Kai Mitchell tried to match the pace with nine first-half points.