Clemson’s depth and defense were on display as they moved to 2-0 with a 58-37 win over Delaware State.
The Tigers rotated in 12 players by the half and 13 by game’s end in Littlejohn Coliseum, scoring 26 off the bench and 14 second-chance points due to a wide rebound margin (plus-15).
Delaware State’s largest and only lead came early on Casey Walker three-pointer, but that lasted all of 2:20 on the clock when redshirt freshman Jaron Blossomgame slammed home a basket to start a 10-0 Tigers run. In the span, the Hornets (1-2) were held without a field goal for over seven minutes.
Junior guard Damarcus Harrison, who transferred from BYU last year, picked up from where he left off in the 71-51 win over Stetson in the opener. He came off the bench to match his first game’s total in the first half (10) and finished with a game-high 15.
“He’s had two good games,” Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. “It’s great to see. He’s playing with more confidence and his shot is looking better certainly. He’s in better shape having a year to adjust and get himself where he needs to be.”
Plodding along in its deliberately slow tempo, Delaware State cut into the halftime deficit to a 7-point game with 17:20 to go, but the Walker jumper would be one of only four Hornets field goals in the second half (4-of-24).
A pair of K.J. McDaniels’ dunks marked a 32-13 Clemson scoring run in the game’s final 16:06. McDaniels hit double-figures for a third consecutive game (11 points), adding five blocks and five rebounds.
“I put our best defensive players out there and we let them roll because they were getting stops,” Brownell said. “That’s where we stretched the lead out and those guys deserved to play a couple of timeout (breaks).
“In this game, I wanted a defensive mindset to finish and we got it.”
No Hornets hit double-figures in scoring on the night, and they missed their final 12 three-pointers (1-of-13 total). It was the lowest scoring effort for a Clemson opponent since 2011-12 (Georgia Tech, 37).
Over two games, the Tigers have allowed 44 points and 31 percent shooting per.
Clemson shot 79 percent from the free throw line (15-of-19). Blossomgame, in his second game returning a leg injury that sat him last season (leg), kept his scoring average at an even eight points, adding eight rebounds as well. Junior guard Rod Hall has seven assists to no turnovers in 54 minutes this season.
After winning a 29th-straight opener last week, they pushed to 2-0 for a 13th-consecutive season.
Clemson returns to action hosting rival South Carolina at 5 p.m. on Sunday.