LITTLEJOHN COLISEUM: Bellarmine may not be a name that strikes fear in the hearts of the average basketball fan, but college hoops insiders know the hyper-efficient offense crafted by Knights coach Scott Davenport can be a nightmare to defend. Brad Brownell was proud of the way his Clemson team prepared for the challenge and executed in fending off Bellarmine 76-66, Friday.
Bellarmine knocked off Louisville in their season opener with its one-of-a-kind inverted (and sometimes dribble-free) offense. The Knights stress defenses and create open looks through a series of scissor cuts, back door screens and crisp passing. If they don’t get the result they want, the Knights will often reset and force their opponent to defend throughout the shot clock. But Clemson stayed locked in defensively, earning the praise of Coach Brownell. In his postgame comments, Brownell said, “There’s just so many chances for you to make a mistake. To get back cut, to get caught on the back screen, get caught looking the other way, a guy drives you while you’re looking around. They play with great pace and it challenges you to sustain it.”
Chase Hunter continued his stellar play, scoring 15 points to go with a season-high 8 assists. Hunter did most of his damage from beyond the arc, hitting on 5 of 6 3-point attempts. Overall, the Tigers made a season-best 13 3-pointers on 28 attempts. Brevin Galloway (14 points), Ian Schieffelin (13), Hunter Tyson (11) and P.J. Hall (10) joined Hunter in double figures.
Clemson (3-1) returns to action with a home date against Loyola-Maryland, Monday. Tipoff from Littlejohn Coliseum is set for 7 p.m.