CLEMSON, SC – Clemson men’s basketball showcased a stifling defense and a balanced scoring effort in its only public exhibition prior to the 2013-14 season, a 98-44 victory over Francis Marion University. K.J. McDaniels led Clemson offensively with 15 points, one of five Tigers to reach double figures. Jaron Blossomgame (11), Adonis Filer (11), Austin Ajukwa (10) and Devin Coleman (10) also scored double digits for Brad Brownell’s team.
Clemson shot well from the field and the free throw line Friday. The Tigers converted 32-of-53 field goal attempts, including a 78 percent clip in the second half. From the charity stripe, Clemson was 25-for-35 for a 71 percent mark. Clemson enjoyed a +16 rebound margin, while dominating the points in the paint 42-18. Defensively, the Tigers held the Patriots to 28 percent shooting and forced 21 turnovers as well.
The Tigers enjoyed a fast start, jumping out to a 12-0 lead punctuated with a pair of threes back-to-back from Roper and McDaniels. A stingy defense forced the Patriots to miss 13 of their first 15 shots, as Clemson extended the lead to 20-6 just past the 10:00 mark. Jaron Blossomgame made it 31-12 in favor of the Tigers on a strong move inside against the zone.
McDaniels brought the house down on a left-handed follow dunk off a missed three by Damarcus Harrison. Harrison provided one of his own a minute later when he drove right baseline for a two-handed jam, making it 43-18. A tip-in by Sidy Djitte, a freshman from Senegal, provided the final first half score to make it 47-24 at intermission.
Clemson scored the first 24 points of the second half, highlighted early by a driving baseline dunk from McDaniels. The lead stretched past the 40-point threshold for the first time after Ibrahim Djambo made a driving left-handed layup with just over 12 minutes to play. FMU did not score its first basket in the second frame until Sam Caron made a three-pointer with 9:30 to go in the game. Clemson had 16 consecutive stops on defense prior to the made shot.
The Tigers open the regular season at home a week from Friday against Stetson.