Clemson opened the regular season in style with a 78-56 victory over Winthrop at Littlejohn Coliseum, Monday. The frontcourt of P.J. Hall, Ian Schieffelin and R.J. Godfrey provided more than enough firepower, combining to hit 18 of 33 shots from the floor and 5 of 10 from the 3-point line.
Schieffelin, Hall and Chase Hunter put Clemson up early as the trio scored the Tigers’ first ten points. Winthrop fought back, trimming the lead to six several times, but for every Eagles’ run, Clemson had a counter-punch waiting. Hall scored 13 of his 20 points in the second half and Schieffelin added 16. Godfrey (12 points) and Hunter (10 points) also finished in double figures. Hemenway, who missed Clemson’s exhibition game against Newberry with a hamstring strain, knocked down 3 of 4 from behind the arc for nine points.
The Tigers had a solid night from long-distance, making 13 of 32 (40.6%) from the 3-point line, while limiting Winthrop to 27.8%. Following Clemson’s exhibition against Newberry, head coach Brad Brownell commented on how scoring 21 assisted baskets illustrates how unselfish a club they have this season. Clemson played up to that reputation in the regular-season opener, again scoring 21 assisted baskets, matching their total from the exhibition. Ten different Tigers registered an assist and transfer Joseph Girard, III led the way with four.
Following the game, Brownell said he was pleased with his team’s attitude and effort, “We do morning shoot-around and they were all excited and before the game, you didn’t need to say much to them …. I do think defensively, we were very good, especially to start, and pretty good most of the day defensively. We really wanted to limit their threes and we did a nice job there.”
Clemson will next be in action at the Asheville Championship from the Harrah’s Cherokee Center. The Tigers will open the tournament against UAB at 9:30 p.m., Friday.