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Clemson holds off Ohio to advance in Charleston Classic

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NCAA Basketball: Clemson at Wake Forest
Donte Grantham scored 20 points to lead Clemson to an 81-76 win over Ohio in the first round of the Charleston Classic.
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Donte Grantham scored 20 points, Elijah Thomas posted a double-double, and Clemson held off a late charge from Ohio to advance to the second round of the Charleston Classic.

The Tigers maintained a lead for most of the first half and took a 42-38 lead into halftime. They stretched that lead to as many as 16 in the second half with under 8 minutes to play, but Ohio charged back in the closing minutes fueled by four 3-pointers by Gavin Block and cut the deficit to four points with 7 seconds to play.

The Tigers stymied the comeback just enough by making 12 of 14 free throws down the stretch. They finished the game 23 of 28 from the stripe.

Clemson continued to spread the wealth on offense, with Shelton Mitchell (16) and Marcquise Reed (12) also scoring in double figures and Gabe DeVoe chipping in 9.

Block led the way for the Bobcats with 22, and Jordan Dartis finished with 18 after a 15-point flurry in a 6-minute span late in the first half.

Clemson put together a quality offensive performance, shooting 49% from the field and 35% from three as a team. Grantham and Thomas were especially efficient, combining to shoot 12 of 19 from the field as they largely attacked around the rim.

The Tigers struggled defensively in stretches when they let Tarvis and Block each go on a torrid streak at the end of the respective halves, and those runs were what kept Ohio in a game that Clemson controlled for the most part.

The Tigers advanced to a semifinal game Friday night at 9:30 p.m. on ESPNU against the winner of a quarterfinal matchup between Dayton and Hofstra.