Clemson Basketball downs Wofford
GREENVILLE, S.C. — Clemson took home a 66-51 victory over Wofford on Sunday afternoon at Bons Secours Wellness Arena. With the win, the Tigers moved to 6-2 on the season. The Terriers fell to 3-5 overall.
“We felt a little pressure with soccer and football winning this weekend, so we knew we had to get a win to keep everybody smiling,” joked head coach Brad Brownell. “What a weekend for Clemson Athletics!”
Jaron Blossomgame led the charge by putting up a third of the Tigers’ total points (22). He notched his first double-double of the season with 11 rebounds, while adding a career-high four blocks
against the Terriers. Donte Grantham added 11 points and eight rebounds, while Avry Holmes notched 10 in the scoring column.
Clemson jumped to an early lead pulling ahead 20-2 before Wofford could find any rhythm. The defense put up its best showing of this young season, forcing the Terriers to shoot just 27 percent overall
in the first half. The Tigers held Wofford’s leading scorer without a point in the opening half, as Blossomgame held Gordon to 0-3 shooting. Gordon did not score until he made a tough driving attempt at the 6:24 mark of the second half.
The second half of play had both offenses slowing to a crawl, with neither team finding any success around the basket for most of the frame. Wofford cut the lead to seven on a couple of occasions,
but each time the Tigers found an answer. Blossomgame lit up the glass, dunking three of his seven field goals. He had a late breakaway jam that served as icing on the cake Sunday. Landry Nnoko also had a pivotal second half of play, making two big baskets
with Wofford making a run midway through the period. Nnoko had eight points after playing just five minutes due to first-half foul trouble.
The Tigers break for final exams of the fall semester, before returning to action Sunday, December 13 against Alabama. Tipoff will be at 6 p.m. from Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownell
“Really good win for our guys, felt a little pressure with soccer winning and football winning, we had to win to make sure everybody kept smiling all weekend. Obviously it was a great weekend for Clemson athletics, and I am super happy for Mike Noonan and the soccer team going to the Final Four and Dabo (Swinney) and all his coaches and players. It has been quite a fall for the sports teams and hopefully our winter will be good, too. We had a good win today, Wofford is a good team. Mike (Young) does a great job with them, he and I are good friends and have been for a while. I don’t really like playing them too much to be honest, but playing his team helps us because we know we are going to have to grind defensively. They take care of the ball, have mentally tough kids and they execute their offense very well and force you to defend for long periods of time. You have to be ready to stay in your stance for 25-30 seconds on most possessions, and tonight our guys really locked in, I thought we had two really good days of practice and we played well today.”
On the opening 20-0 run after the initial basket:
“Yes, I thought it was spurred by our defense. I didn’t think we gave them anything easy, I thought we were a little bit disruptive early. We were to get them out of their flow and our guys got locked in and did a good job not letting them get to Justin Gordon and limiting some of his touches also getting him in some foul trouble helped in the game. Also we were pretty good offensively, especially early. I thought we were efficient, I thought we moved the ball well and put them in some long closeouts and did good things to get penetration and score.”
On Jaron Blossomgame’s late three deterring Wofford's rally:
“Yes, that was a big shot. You know it is funny, these are harder games for schools like Clemson than people think. Wofford is used to winning 20 plus games a season, and that was me for a long time as a mid-major coach. So, the pressure is solely on Clemson. In a game like this, where you get a lead and then they are coming back, we probably tightened up a little bit offensively ... but that is what you have great players for. A guy like Jaron knocks down back to back threes and really doesn’t let us get in a position where the lead is really ever in jeopardy, to let the game get any closer. He was able to keep them at bay and we were able to force them to make tough shots and I thought that they did make some tough shots. Because they have guys like Spencer Collins and Eric Garcia, they have tough guys who are going to keep coming at you. But again, that is part of the reason that we scheduled Wofford this year because we knew we would need that, so I was pleased with the way our guys stuck with the plan for 40 minutes.”