The Clemson Tigers couldn’t overcome a first half where they shot 26 percent from the field and did not get the defensive stops necessary to stop Tennessee, falling 71-67 in their final exhibition game Sunday at Littlejohn Coliseum.
Clemson did not hit a field goal in the first 8+ minutes of the game, when Marcquise Reed broke the seal with a two-point jumper. Reed filled it up from then on for the Tigers, pouring in 25 points and leading the Tigers from 17 points down to cut the Tennessee lead to 2 in the final moments.
The game allowed both teams to work on late-game situations, but Tennessee’s Admiral Schofield broke ahead of Clemson’s pressure to score a fast-break layup to make up the final margin.
Tennessee dominated on the rebounding front, grabbing 15 offensive rebounds which led to 14 second chance points. Clemson also committed 16 turnovers which led to 20 Tennessee points off those miscues.
Clemson Coach Brad Brownell said the game was a great test for his group, and it meant something to play a team of that caliber in front of a crowd:
The announced crowd of 4,112 raised more than $5,100 for hurricane relief which will impact communities in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
The game also brought the return of Rick Barnes to Littlejohn Coliseum, who coached the Tigers from 1994-98.
Barnes said he appreciates the Clemson program for creating this event, and that they have a good man in place in Brownell:
Clemson opens the season Friday night at Littlejohn Coliseum against Western Carolina at 7 PM.