For the second straight Sunday, the Clemson Tigers took care of business at Littlejohn Arena - this time beating Detroit Mercy 87-65. And like last Sunday, Tevin Mack’s presence was felt early and often as he opened the scoring for Clemson with a layup on the game’s first possession.
Mack finished the game with 18 points (third on the team) on seven makes (tied for a team high). He was outpaced by an efficient 19p/8r performance from Aamir Simms and a career-high 20-point night for Hunter Tyson. Tyson also drained a career-best five 3-pointers in the win.
While the Titans kept it reasonably close for the first half, Clemson held this lead for nearly the entire game. Detroit’s lone moments in the lead came after a Justin Miller 3-pointer put them up 9-8 with 13 minutes left to play in the first frame. Clemson responded with a 14-6 run including buckets from Tyson, Simms and Mack to go up 22-15 by the Under-Eight Time-Out. By halftime, Clemson led 38-29.
Something that should be encouraging for Tigers fans is in the second half, the game turned into a blowout. Tyson, Simms and Mack all stayed aggressive putting up double-digits in the second half as the team shot over 50% from the field in the period. The team got to the line much more in the second half, putting up 19 attempts compared to just two in the first half.
It’s important to remember that Detroit is a bad team, rated 253rd by Kenpom and projected to finish 11-20 this season. Still, Clemson outperformed what they were expected to do (Kenpom projected an 80-65 win) and made it difficult for the Titans to score, holding them to below 33 percent from the field. Good win, next up: the home stand ends with Alabama A&M on Thursday.