Clemson Downs USC-Aiken, 94-60
Clemson, SC—Trevor Booker scored 15 points and pulled in eight rebounds, while K.C. Rivers added 14 points and six rebounds to lead Clemson to a 94-60 exhibition basketball victory over USC-Aiken on Thursday night at Clemson’s Littlejohn Coliseum. It was the final tuneup for Clemson, who opens the regular season on November 14 in Charleston, SC against Hofstra.
Clemson placed four players in double figures overall. Supporting Booker and Rivers were starting guard Terrence Oglesby, who scored 13 points and reserve wing player David Potter, who scored 12 points in just 18 minutes.
It was a balanced performance for Oliver Purnell’s Tigers team, as 13 different players scored and 13 different players had at least one rebound. Purnell played four freshmen in the game and the leader of that group was Tanner Smith, who had nine points, including 2-2 on three point shots in just 14 minutes.
USC-Aiken, ranked number-one in the nation among Division II teams by The Sporting News preseason poll, had a 27-4 record last year. Chris Commons, an NABC Division II All-American last year with a 22 point average, led the Pacers on Thursday night with 17 points an nine rebounds. Cordaryl Ballard had 12 points and Kingley Oguchi added 11.
Clemson won the rebounding battle 45-30 and forced 24 Pacer turnovers. Clemson also had a 40-12 advantage in bench scoring and a 26-14 advantage in points off turnovers. Clemson was especially effective in the second half when it outscored USC-Aiken, 53-30. Clemson made 13-18 field goals in the second half, including 4-5 three-point shots. Clemson’s defense held the Pacers to 4-23 three-point shooting, including 2-13 in the second half.
Free throw shooting was also a positive area for Clemson on Thursday night. The Tigers made 32-41 free throws for the game, 78 percent. The Tigers finished last in the ACC in free throw shooting last year when the Tigers made just 62 percent. Eight different Clemson players made free throws, including a 10-12 performance by the Clemson bench.
Clemson had an 11-0 run over a 4:42 time period early in the first half to take a 19-7 lead. Five different players scored in the run, including Smith, who made a three-point goal during the run. Clemson held that 11-point lead at the half, 41-30.
Clemson improved the lead to 17 points at 51-34 at the 18:20 mark of the second half. Oglesby made a deep three-point shot to give the Tigers that 17-point lead. USC Aiken cut the margin back to 13 at 51-38 and the two teams traded turnovers and fouls for a number of possessions before David Potter hit a three-point shot at the 14:31 mark to give Clemson a 54-38 lead. Clemson held a double digit lead the rest of the game and the 34-point margin at the final buzzer was the largest lead of the game for Clemson.