But then, after battling back and forth for the first 25 minutes of the game, Clemson took control of the game. Over a 10-minute stretch, they outscored the other Tigers by a margin of 25-12, to take a 15-point 71-to-54 lead with just over five minutes left in the game.
The Tigers let Texas Southern rally a bit as they played a press with the game ending, but the final result was never really in jeopardy.
Rather than relying on leading scorer Donte Grantham, the duo of Elijah Thomas and Gabe DeVoe dominated for Clemson -- both posting career-highs in points at 26 and 21, respectively. The duo also missed just two shots from the field, combining to shoot 18-of-20 on the afternoon.
Thomas, who led the Tigers in minutes, added in 16 rebounds (also a career high), four blocks and one steal while DeVoe went a perfect five-of-five from beyond the arc. Their hot shooting from the field led to the Tigers offense shooting an absurd 61.2 percent from the field. The Tigers were also a respectable 70.8 percent team from the FT line today.
The lone blemish on today’s offensive performance was Clemson’s shooting from three by everyone not named Gabe DeVoe. The Tigers were just 2-of-13 from deep without DeVoe during the win. Grantham, who finished with nine points, missed his only three-point attempt in the game.
A full box score is available here.
Texas Southern is a primarily guard-driven team and it showed in the game. Demontrae Jefferson, who led this team in scoring, finished with 22 points and his fellow guard Donte Clark added 10 in the loss. Texas Southern was severely outrebounded in the loss as Clemson hauled in 11 more boards than Texas Southern.
Clemson held them under 25% from deep, another big factor in their win. Next up for Clemson is a trip to Columbus where they will take on the Ohio State Buckeyes as part of the Big Ten-ACC Challenge.