Clemson shot 49 percent from the field and had four players in double figures as the Tigers defeated Ohio, 81-76, in their opening round game at the Charleston Classic.
Donte Grantham led the Tigers with 20 points and Elijah Thomas took a big confidence step forward with a double-double (17 points, 12 rebounds) as Clemson dominated the paint and the glass with a plus-seven rebound total and 38 points in the paint.
The Tigers penetrated early and often as a healthy portion of guard Shelton Mitchell’s 16 points came with a 7-of-8 day at the free-throw line.
Clemson’s defense deserves a bulk of the credit, as after preseason All-Conference honoree Bobby Dartis scored 16 first-half points, the Tigers held him to just two after halftime.
Brad Brownell and his team said it was the kind of model effort they were looking for to start the tournament.
Clemson Postgame (Brownell, Grantham and Thomas)
The Tigers advance to the semifinals of the Charleston Classic, where they will play Hofstra at 9:30 PM Friday.