Jennings' career-high 22 points leads Tigers over Paladins


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CLEMSON – Clemson head basketball coach Brad BrownellBrad Brownell
Head Coach
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said following Tuesday’s loss to Coastal Carolina that he was disappointed in the play of some of his veterans, and needed for them to step up.

In Friday’s home game against Furman the Tigers fell into an early 9-0 hole, but veteran Milton JenningsMilton Jennings
Jr. Forward
#24 6-9, 225
Summerville, SC

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responded with career-highs of 22 points and 14 rebounds as Clemson broke a two-game losing streak with a 59-49 victory over the Paladins at Littlejohn Coliseum.

“We’re happy to get a win, especially when you spot them nine,” Brownell said. “I thought our guys rallied back defensively. We got back to what we needed to do. It was really just a hard-fought game. We missed a lot of shots under the basket that we need to make. To Furman’s credit, those guys made some tough shots to stay in the game.

“Our guys did a good job of just hanging in there and plugging away and getting big stops when we needed to, and a couple of big baskets. I thought Milt was obviously terrific tonight. He was really focused. Andre (Young) and Tanner (Smith) were really solid. They played well, especially with the amount of minutes they had to play.”

The teams were tied at 24 at the intermission, but Jennings opened the second half with a shot inside to give Clemson its first lead of the game, and Young hoisted a 3-pointer two minutes later to make it 31-28.

Clemson led 46-37 on a Devin BookerDevin Booker
Jr. Forward
#31 6-8, 245
Whitmire, SC

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dunk, but the Paladins made one final rally, getting to within 46-42 on two Charlei Reddick free throws. However, Young and Booker followed with three foul shots to rebuild the margin and Furman couldn't get any closer than six points after that.

Furman's leading scorer coming in at 10.8 points a game, senior Brandon Sebirumbi, was held to three field goals and fouled out with 4:45 remaining in the game.

Brownell said the Tigers put an emphasis on penetrating the lane against the Paladins.

“It’s hard when another team plays as much zone as they played tonight,” Brownell said. “It’s not as easy to get in there and penetrate. It hurt that Devin was in some foul trouble. When your strongest post player is in and out and not getting into the kind of rhythm that he likes, it puts even more pressure
on other guys. I thought Milt was fantastic. He was being aggressive but not out of control. At times, he’s shown he can get a little loose. We certainly wanted to try to get more free throws and attack the basket. Guys certainly did a better job of that tonight.”


The Paladins had jumped out to that 9-0 lead, and led 22-14 on Charlie Reddick's 3-pointer with 6:49 left in the period. That's when the Tigers closed with a 10-2 run to tie things at the break. Jennings had eight of his 12 first-half points, including the tying basket with 35.5 seconds left off a nifty pass in the lane from T.J. SappT.J. Sapp
Fr. Guard
#1 6-3, 190
Fort Lauderdale, FL

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.

Young added 15 points for Clemson. Jennings surpassed his previous best of 16 points, last set in March against North Carolina. Bryant Irwin scored 13 points to lead Furman.

Brownell said he was glad to see his veterans show up.

“It’s a big adjustment for these guys in terms of the confidence of everybody looking at you to make
a big shot,” he said. “Whether it’s Tanner or Andre or Devin (Booker) or Milt, those four guys need to be the guys to make the big shots and make the big shots and grab ahold of opportunities. Andre did some of it last year, but really it was Demontez (Stitt) and Jerai (Grant).”


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