Clemson dominates Coppin State


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CLEMSON, S.C. — A record-scoring first half pace led Clemson to a lopsided 85-43 victory over Coppin State on Sunday. The win moved the Tigers to 5-2 on the season, while dropping the Eagles to 0-10 overall.

Four players reached double figures in the scoring column, led by Jaron Blossomgame with 15 points. He had a double-double, with a season-high 11 rebounds to boot. Avry Holmes posted 13 points, Shelton Mitchell added 12 and Marcquise Reed finished with 11. The Tigers shot 54 percent for the game and held the Eagles to a 31 percent mark. Clemson had a 34-5 advantage in points off turnovers as well.

Mitchell, making his first start as a Tiger, helped get his team off to a good start. He hit a pair of fast break layups and followed with a steal and slam that gave Clemson a 30-10 lead. Later, the Tigers saw Avry Holmes and Marcquise Reed hit consecutive three-pointers as the lead ballooned to 46-14. Mitchell punctuated an fast-paced first half with a contested floater from the left side, giving the Tigers a 51-point opening frame.

The second half saw Clemson’s three walk-ons all contribute field goals in the final minutes. First, Lyles Davis swooped through the left side and completed a floater for his first career bucket. Then, Davis threw a bounce pass to freshman Isaac Fields for a layup. On the next possession, graduate Riley McGillan hit a turnaround jumper in the lane for his first points of the season to bring the bench and Clemson crowd to its collective feet.

The Tigers break for final exams before returning to action on Saturday, Dec. 10 against Mercer in a 4 p.m. tipoff from Littlejohn.

Postgame Notes

• The Tigers improved to 3-0 in the series against Coppin State.
• Clemson scored 51 points in the opening half, the most first-half points by a Brad Brownell coached team (201 games).
• Coppin State was held to 43 points, the low for a Clemson opponent in 2016-17.
• The Tigers improved to 35-2 all-time under Brownell when allowing 50 points or less.
• Clemson set a season-high with 12 steals.
• The Tigers had their highest field goal percentage in the first half this season (.588).
• The Tigers held Coppin State to an opponent-low 22 first half points.
• Avry Holmes surpassed 1,000 points for his career at the 6:32 mark of the second half.
• Holmes played his 100th career game Sunday against the Eagles.
• Shelton Mitchell scored a season-high 12 points, hitting 6-8 field goals.
• Mitchell made his first start as a Tiger on Sunday, his 12th overall dating to his time with Vanderbilt in 2014-15.
• Jaron Blossomgame had a new season high in rebounds and recorded his first double-double of the season (15 points, 11 rebounds).
• Legend Robertin blocked a career-high four shots Sunday.
• Ty Hudson made his first three-pointer of the season, and first since last season’s final game against Georgia Tech in the ACC Tournament.

Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownell

Opening statement:
“Today was just a nice stress-free win. I thought our guys were pretty focused which was good. We’ve had some good practices and I was pleased that we played a pretty clean game. We only had 8 turnovers. Clearly, we out-manned them and hurt them on the boards a bit with the offensive rebounding early. We made shots. I thought we played with a good rhythm and pace. Second half we got to work on some things like our 2-3 zone which was good to see. I want to credit Avry Holmes for scoring his 1,000th point. That’s a huge accomplishment. It was also nice to see our walk-ons play well. Those guys work hard for us and for them to get 4-5 minutes out there and make a couple of plays was good to see as well. All in all, it was a good stress-free win.”

On Mitchell’s improvement:
“I pointed to this game to move him into the starting lineup. Hopefully it progresses nicely from here. Today was a stress-free game so he could relax and play, but I thought he played with good pace and pushed it. We came through unscathed in term of injuries and that’s always nice.”

On the play of Sidy Djitte:
“He’s just the kind of guy that is in the middle of everything. He has a nose for the ball so he’s always going to be around it, whether it’s offense or defense. On defense, he’s going to come over and help. If it’s a shot in the air, he’s trying to go get it. He’s just one of those guys that has a knack for things. I’m really pleased with how he and Jaron (Blossomgame) rebounded today. They rebounded at a high level.”

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