Grantham's 17 points leads Clemson to Sunday win over Aggies


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Mark Donnal goes in the for the score Sunday
Mark Donnal goes in the for the score Sunday

CLEMSON – Donte Grantham scored 17 points to lead five Tigers in double figures in leading Clemson to a 87-63 victory over North Carolina A&T Sunday afternoon in Littlejohn Coliseum.

Elijah Thomas, Marcquise Reed, and Gabe DeVoe added 13 points apiece, while Shelton Mitchell scored 10. Grantham also had a game-high 12 rebounds, while DeVoe added 10.

The game was the first-ever meeting between the two schools. Clemson improves to 2-0 on the young season, while the Aggies fall to 1-1. The Tigers are now 35-1 all-time against members of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), including a 35-1 mark in Clemson.

Under head coach Brad Brownell, the Tigers are a combined 61-28 in the month of November since the beginning of the 2010-11 season, including Sunday’s victory over North Carolina A&T. Brownell is just seven wins shy of 300 for his career with the win over the Aggies.

Clemson threatened to turn the game into a rout several times in the first half, but the AggiesAggiesAggiesAggiesAggiesAggiesAggiesAggiesAggiesAggiesAggiesAggiesAggiesAggiesAggiesAggies made a run each time that kept it close.

A 3-pointer at the 12:22 mark of the first half by Mark Donnal gave the Tigers a 22-12 lead, but back-to-back treys by the Aggies in the span of a minute made it 22-18. A layup by DeVoe at the mark 5:11 mark of the half gave the Tigers their biggest lead to that point at 35-22. However, the Aggies hit another 3-pointer and stayed within 10-12 points the rest of the half.

A layup by Eli Thomas with 1:28 remaining were the last points of the opening half, and Clemson took a 41-29 lead into intermission.

Clemson opened the second half on a 12-3 run, a run that included an 8-0 spurt punctuated by a Thomas dunk. Thomas was fouled on the play, hit the foul shot and Clemson led 53-32 with just over 15 minutes to play in the game.

The Aggies responded with two quick baskets that made it 53-36, but Marcquise Reed hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key that pushed the lead back to 18 at 56-38. The lead stayed at 18 until the Tigers went on an 11-0 run. The Aggies had a scoring drought that lasted a little over three minutes, and Grantham punctuated the run with a dunk after a pretty feed from DeVoe. With just over five minutes remaining Clemson led 79-50.

The Aggies continued to battle but never got closer than 24 the rest of the way.

Clemson faces Ohio Thursday in the first round of the Gildan Charleston Classic in Charleston. The bracket-format tournament features 12 games over three days. The teams compete once per day, advancing with a victory. The two teams that remain undefeated will face off in the championship game on Sun., Nov. 19. Auburn, Dayton, Hofstra, Indiana St., Ohio, Temple, and Old Dominion are the other teams in the tournament.

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