Clemson Downs Johnson C. Smith
Clemson, SC - Senior Shawan Robinson scored 20 points and freshman K.C. Rivers added 19 to lead Clemson to a 101-59 exhibition basketball victory over Johnson C. Smith Saturday night at Littlejohn Coliseum. It was the only public exhibition game for the Tigers during the preseason. Oliver Purnell's squad opens its season Friday, November 18 against Bethune Cookman at Littlejohn Coliseum.
Rivers was impressive in his debut as the freshman from Charlotte made 7-10 shots from the field, including a team best 4-7 on three-point shots. He was Clemson's leading scorer in the first half when he had 11 points.
Robinson scored 20 points, including 8-8 from the foul line. He also added five assists and just one turnover in 21 minutes of play. The Tigers had five players in double figures and played all 13 players on their roster. Twelve of the 13 scored and 10 of the 13 pulled down at least on rebound.
Cliff Hammonds, an ACC All-Freshman player last year, had 14 points, four assists and six steals in his 26 minutes of play. Sam Perry added 10 on 5-7 shooting in a starting role in just 13 minutes. James Mays added 10 and seven rebounds in 22 minutes.
Akin Akingbala, who has been troubled by injury in the preseason, had seven points and five rebounds in 21 minutes. Freshman Julius Powell scored just three points, but had seven rebounds in 15 active minutes.
Clemson shot 52 percent from the field, including 57 percent in the second half when the Tigers scored 58 points. Clemson forced 32 Johnson C. Smith turnovers with 17 steals.
Johnson C. Smith was led in scoring by Jerome Givens, who had 16 points, while Charles Clark added 12 points and seven rebounds.
Clemson jumped out to a 25-8 lad in the first nine minutes of the game as Rivers scored eight points, including six on a pair of three-point goals. Johnson C. Smith cut the margin to seven at 34-27 behind balanced scoring. But Clemson went on a 9-2 run to end the half, then started the second half with a 12-5 run to take a 55-34 lead with 14:44 left.
Clemson scored 35 points in the last 10 minutes of the game and reached the 100 point mark on a layup by Raymond Sykes with 54 seconds left in the game.