The Clemson Tigers won their opening game of the Cayman Islands Classic, 72-69 over the Akron Zips, to set up a juicy semifinal matchup with the Georgia Bulldogs.
Shelton Mitchell led the Tigers with 22 points, Marcquise Reed added 16, and Elijah Thomas contributed a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
The Tigers looked like they would win in lopsided fashion, leading by 15 points with 7:54 to play, but had to withstand a late charge from the Zips that also saw Reed foul out for Clemson.
While Clemson shot the ball well for the game (49%), the Tigers made just four three-pointers in 13 attempts.
Georgia defeated Illinois State 80-68 also on Monday, setting up a showdown between the Tigers and Bulldogs at 1:30 PM on Tuesday in the tournament semifinals.
The Bulldogs lead the all-time basketball series with the Tigers with 57 wins compared to 25 for Clemson. Georgia opened the 2016 season at Littlejohn Coliseum with Clemson prevailing 74-64, as Marcquise Reed, the lone player remaining on the roster who played in that game, scored 19 points in 28 minutes.