Grant, Anderson spark Tigers to win over ECU


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CLEMSON – Jerai Grant has had his best stretch of the season over the past five games, so Wednesday night’s performance came as no surprise.

Former walk-on Zavier Anderson continuing to provide a spark might be a surprise to some people, but not his coach.

Grant scored 18 points, had eight blocks and seven rebounds Wednesday night to lead Clemson past East Carolina 71-59 in front of 7,382 fans at Littlejohn Coliseum, the Tigers’ fifth consecutive win.

It was Anderson who helped Clemson (10-4) put the game away, however with a tip-in basket and a pair of free throws after the Pirates (7-6) cut a 14-point deficit to 58-53 with 5:39 left.

“I think this was a good, solid win for our guys,” Clemson head coach Brad Brownell said. “I think we played two solid halves. Our defense was really good throughout the night. We wanted to make it difficult for their three-point shooters to get some good looks.”

Milton Jennings added 13 points and Andre Young had 11 for the Tigers, who led 35-28 at intermission thanks to a 16-0 run late in the opening half.

Demontez Stitt, who had all 10 of his points in the first half, sparked the streak with a 3-pointer followed by a steal and a pass to Tanner Smith for a layup.

The Pirates led by as many as six in the opening half, but struggled against Clemson's tight man-to-man defense.

“It was a bumper-grinder kind of game where there were a lot of fouls, so it made it a little more difficult for everybody to get into a flow,” Brownell said. “But I think our guys made some progress, and I’m pleased that we could get this win.”

The Pirates made it 58-53 on two Erin Straughn free throws with 5:39 remaining, and Young missed a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession. The 5-9 Anderson was there for the rebound and missed his first tip-in, but he battled and made the second one go in.

Anderson then hit two big free throws to make it 62-53, and as the Pirates tried to get into an offensive set, Anderson stole the ball and fed Jennings for an easy dunk to put Clemson up 64-53 with just over four minutes remaining. Clemson made 5-of-6 free throws in the final two minutes to seal the win.

Brownell said getting Anderson in at the end turned out to be a smart move.

“I felt like our body language on the court was not very good,” Brownell said. “I thought our enthusiasm and energy were a little low, and Zay is certainly one of our energy guys. He’s going to get after you defensively, and two of the plays were just that—plays where he was getting after it.

“One was a tip-in after a second ball in penetration, then to get a steal and throw it to Milton (Jennings) for a dunk were really, really good plays. It’s not surprising to me because he does that every day.”

Brownell said getting the ball into the hands of Grant is also a priority.

“We were trying to stay home on some shooters and we were funneling them to Jerai, in some ways,” Brownell said. “We knew that they were going to bring the ball to him. Late, they went to even more ball screens, so he put himself in position to get some blocks. I think Jerai showed good maturity today. It was hard for our big guys to get a lot of quality touches today, and Jerai found other ways to be involved, which is good.”

The Tigers return to the court on Sunday when they host The Citadel at 4 p.m.



VISITORS: East Carolina 7-6
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
01 Morrow, Darrius..... f  3-9    0-0    6-9    3  5  8   4  12  0  1  0  0  37
33 Wynn, Chad.......... c  2-5    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   1   4  0  1  0  0   9
11 Gaines, Corvonn..... g  0-2    0-2    0-1    0  2  2   2   0  0  3  0  2  28
23 Straughn, Erin...... g  2-6    2-3    2-2    1  2  3   4   8  0  1  0  1  27
24 Sherrod, Jontae..... g  3-10   1-4    6-7    0  5  5   2  13  2  3  0  0  31
03 Torlak, Peter.......    1-1    1-1    0-0    0  0  0   0   3  0  0  0  0   2
10 Young, Brock........    3-11   1-4    7-7    1  4  5   5  14  5  4  0  0  30
12 Sampson, Robert.....    0-1    0-1    0-0    1  0  1   4   0  1  0  0  0   5
21 Abrams, Jamar.......    2-4    1-3    0-0    0  1  1   4   5  0  1  0  0  15
30 Ellison, Wakefield..    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   2
35 Morales, Darius.....    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   3
42 Joyner, DaQuan......    0-0    0-0    0-2    0  1  1   3   0  2  1  0  0  11
   TEAM................                         4  2  6             1
   Totals..............   16-49   6-18  21-28  10 22 32  29  59 10 16  0  3 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-27 37.0%   2nd Half:  6-22 27.3%   Game: 32.7%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  5-11 45.5%   2nd Half:  1-7  14.3%   Game: 33.3%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  3-4  75.0%   2nd Half: 18-24 75.0%   Game: 75.0%    3


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: Clemson 10-4
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
31 Booker, Devin....... f  1-3    0-1    3-4    3  5  8   4   5  0  0  0  0  23
45 Grant, Jerai........ f  4-8    0-0   10-13   0  7  7   4  18  0  1  8  1  31
02 Stitt, Demontez..... g  4-7    2-5    0-2    0  4  4   2  10  6  1  0  2  35
05 Smith, Tanner....... g  1-4    0-2    2-2    0  3  3   2   4  3  3  0  2  36
11 Young, Andre........ g  3-8    2-5    3-4    0  1  1   3  11  1  1  0  0  22
03 Anderson, Zavier....    2-4    0-1    2-4    3  1  4   2   6  1  0  1  2  14
12 Stanton, Cory.......    0-2    0-2    1-2    0  2  2   2   1  2  1  0  0  11
21 Narcisse, Bryan.....    0-0    0-0    3-4    0  2  2   0   3  0  0  0  0   4
24 Jennings, Milton....    6-12   1-5    0-0    3  2  5   1  13  0  4  1  0  24
   TEAM................
   Totals..............   21-48   5-21  24-35   9 27 36  20  71 13 11 10  7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-22 54.5%   2nd Half:  9-26 34.6%   Game: 43.8%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  4-11 36.4%   2nd Half:  1-10 10.0%   Game: 23.8%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  7-12 58.3%   2nd Half: 17-23 73.9%   Game: 68.6%    7


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Officials: Les Jones, Sean Casady, Sean Corbin
Technical fouls: East Carolina-None. Clemson-None.
Attendance: 7382
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
East Carolina.................   28   31  -   59
Clemson.......................   35   36  -   71

Points in the paint-ECU 12,CU 24. Points off turnovers-ECU 12,CU 17.
2nd chance points-ECU 5,CU 7. Fast break points-ECU 0,CU 6.
Bench points-ECU 22,CU 23. Score tied-8 times. Lead changed-3 times.
Last FG-ECU 2nd-00:31, CU 2nd-03:18.
Largest lead-ECU by 6 1st-05:32, CU by 14 2nd-07:51.

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