Balanced scoring, strong rebounding and tenacious defense down the stretch was the formula for Clemson Saturday night as the Tigers defeated Alabama 64-56 in Atlanta. Al-Amir Dawes as Clemson’s only double digit scorer with 10, but six others scored at least five points, and a total of 10 Tigers got on the scoresheet. The Tigers also whipped ‘Bama on the boards 43-28 including 12 on the offensive glass that turned into 15 points. The Crimson Tide did not have a second chance point. The rebounding helped Clemson overcome 21 turnovers. The Tigers turned the Tide over 15 times and also had 7 blocks.
Clemson held Alabama to a 30.6% shooting night and was really stingy over the final 6:10 of the game. Alabama had taken a 55-54 lead at that point by scoring seven straight points. A Dawes layup with 5:54 to play put Clemson back in front, and that started a 10-0 run where the Tigers held the Crimson Tide scoreless for nearly six minutes. Alabama missed its last nine shots and suffered two turnovers during that stretch.
Two Columbia natives played for Alabama. Jordan Bruner of Spring Valley, who transferred from Yale, had 3 points, 2 reb0unds and 5 steals in 24 minutes, and Juwan Gary of Gray Collegiate played three minutes and did not score or grab a rebound.
Clemson is now 5-0 with four of those wins coming against teams from the Big Ten and the SEC. The Tigers will open ACC play at Virginia Tech Tuesday night.