GREENVILLE: If Brad Brownell had a bounce back performance from the Tigers on his holiday wish list, Christmas came early for Coach as Clemson wiped the floor with the Richmond Spiders 85-57 at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Saturday, as part of the Greenville Winter Invitational. Clemson opened the game on a 13-1 tear and never looked back, dominating for the full 40 minutes and cruising to victory in its final non-conference game of the regular season.
Last time out, the Tigers struggled with their perimeter shooting, hitting just 3 of 21 from behind the arc in a loss to Loyola Chicago. Clemson more than doubled that output in the first half, Saturday, making 7 of its first 14 3-pointers against Richmond.
Chase Hunter and Hunter Tyson provided the scoring punch early, combining for 23 points before intermission. Hunter paced the Tigers with 18 points and Tyson added 16. Tyson said, “We always want to come out and deliver the first blow, that’s one thing that we always say, and we came out and did that tonight. Not only that, but we were disruptive.”
Clemson also dominated defensively, limiting the Spiders to 33% shooting in the first half and 41% for the game. With ACC play looming, Brownell was able to rest starters Tyson, Hunter, P.J. Hall (9 points, 8 rebounds), Alex Hemenway (8 points) and Ian Schiefflin (4 points) the bulk of the second half. Hemenway was rested out of necessity due to “some plantar fascia,” according to Brownell. Brevin Galloway (Seneca HS) led the reserves with 10 points and surpassed 1,000 points scored for his collegiate career, which has included stops at College of Charleston and Boston College.
Brownell said veteran leadership and a great week of practice led to his club’s stellar performance, “Monday, Tuesday, we really got after it. We got back to some defensive fundamentals we needed to spend some time on …. Our older players were unbelievable tonight. They were highly motivated, on-point with the game plan and then just executed exceptionally well throughout the course of the game.”
The Tigers will next venture back into conference play with a trip to Georgia Tech. Clemson (9-3, 1-0) already has one ACC win under its belt, a blowout victory over Wake Forest back on Dec. 2nd. Tipoff from McAmish Pavilion in Atlanta is set for 7:30 p.m., Wednesday.