Clemson freshmen guards Al-Amir Dawes and Chase Hunter combined for just two turnovers while the Tigers forced 18 and scored 30 points off Colgate turnovers Sunday afternoon.
The Tigers fought through adversity and overcame an experienced Colgate team with a strong run to cap off the 81-68 win.
Head coach Brad Brownell knew the Raiders would prove a formidable foe for the Tigers in Littlejohn and was proud of how his team responded in the pressure situation.
“I thought we played great in the first half and knew this team would come back, it’s a strong-willed veteran team and I knew they would make a run and we would have to do something again” Brownell told the media following the game.
Colgate tied the game with 6:25 remaining in the contest but a pair of runs (seven and eight points) in the final six minutes gave Clemson the edge.
“We had to regroup a little bit and tweak things defensively to respond to their adjustment. The final score wasn’t indicative of how close this was or the plays we had to make to pull away,” he said.
Graduate transfer Tevin Mack led the way for the Tigers in scoring and finished the game with 17 points and was 7-of-11 from the field with three three pointers and nine rebounds.
Junior forward Aamir Simms bounced back after a slow start in the first half to add twelve points and eight boards. Simms felt the Tigers responded well to the adversity and learned lessons from its opening game loss to Virginia Tech.
“We had to take a breather and think back to Virginia where we panicked in tight situations,” Simms said. “Today we slowed down and were able to make better shots and that’s what made the difference.”
Clemson returns to action after a week off when it hosts Detroit Mercy at 3 pm in Littlejohn Coliseum next Sunday. The team will likely be without freshman Alex Hemenway who is listed as doubtful after suffering a severe high ankle sprain last week.