Mens Basketball: Clemson 85, Western Carolina 57 - D1SportsNet

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Mens basketball

Clemson 85, Western Carolina 57

Hot-shooting Clemson placed 11 players in the scoring column Friday night as it opened the season with an 85-57 non-conference rout of Western Carolina at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, S.C.

Senior forward Donte Grantham led the balanced Tigers with 14 points, connecting on 5-of-6 shots from the field and going 3-for-3 on 3-pointers. Elijah Thomas made all four shots he attempted from the floor and finished with 11, while guards Gabe DeVoe and Marcquise Reed added 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Guard Haboubacar Mutombo paced the Catamounts with 10 points, but the rest of his teammates struggled. Western Carolina made only 39 percent of its field goal attempts and committed 20 turnovers that led to 20 points.

By contrast, Clemson was on point early and often. The Tigers canned 50 percent of their field goal attempts and also made good use of frequent trips to the foul line, sinking 25 of 31 for 80.6 percent.

Clemson led for all but a minute and 46 seconds, taking the lead for good when touted freshman Aamir Simms sank a jumper at the 14:49 mark of the first half. That was part of an 11-2 spurt that he finished with two foul shots with 12:08 remaining for a 17-11 advantage.

The Catamounts pulled within 22-20, but the Tigers removed all doubt with a 19-0 run that lasted nearly six minutes. DeVoe's 3-pointer with 1:35 left before the half capped the spurt.

Clemson pushed the lead as high as 36 with 8:26 remaining in the game and coasted from there.

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