Tigers Ragin' hot against the Cajuns as Grantham scores 1000th point
Grantham scored 17 points to lead the Tigers

Tigers Ragin' hot against the Cajuns as Grantham scores 1000th point

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON - Donte Grantham led four scorers in double figures with 17 points in leading Clemson to a dominating 89-60 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette at Littlejohn Coliseum Friday afternoon.

Clemson improves to 11-1 overall with its seventh straight victory. It was the first meeting between the two schools. The Tigers 11-1 in non-conference play this year is the best record in non-ACC play since the 2008-09 Tigers went 14-0 in the regular season.

The 89 points were a season-high for the Tigers. Clemson shot 57% from the field (32-56) and 11-24 from 3-point range. Shelton Mitchell and Elijah Thomas each added 15 points while David Skaara chipped in 11. Grantham added 10 rebounds.

Clemson is now 29-3 all-time against teams from the Sun Belt Conference.

The first half saw the Tigers jump out to a quick 7-2 lead, fall behind 8-7 and then use an 8-0 run to force a quick Ragin’ Cajun timeout with the Tigers ahead 15-7. The Tigers maintained that working margin for much of the next seven minutes and held a 23-17 lead before going on a 12-4 run that ended on a Grantham tip-in with just over three minutes to play and Clemson ahead 35-20.

The tip-in gave Grantham 1000 points for his Clemson career, the 39th player in Tiger history to reach that mark.

The Ragin’ Cajuns then went on an 8-2 run, trimming Clemson’s advantage to just nine at37-28 with 1:11 to play in the half. However, Grantham dropped a 3-pointer with 40 seconds to play and David Skaara dropped in another from the corner with two seconds to play as the Tigers took a 43-28 lead into the locker room.

The Tigers and Ragin’ Cajuns traded baskets for much of the first 14 minutes of the second half. Clemson never held a bigger lead than 19 (47-28 early in the stanza) but the Ragin’ Cajuns also couldn’t move the Tiger lead to under 12 (63-51 with 9:57 to play).

A 3-pointer by Cedric Russell with just under eight minutes to play brought the Ragin’ Cajuns to within 14 at 70-56, but the Tigers went on an 11-0 run over the next five minutes. Elijah Thomas had a bid dunk that made it 79-56, then followed a missed DeVoe 3-pointer a few seconds later with another slam that made it 81-56 with under three minutes to play.

Marcus Stroman made two free throws to end the Clemson streak and a five-minute scoreless streak for the Ragin’ Cajuns. Both benches emptied after the free throws, and A.J. Oliver nailed a 3-pointer from the wing that made it 84-58 with under two minutes to play.

The Ragin’ Cajuns missed their last 13 shots and didn’t make a shot from the field after Russell’s 3-pointer at the 7:49 mark.

Clemson returns to action on Dec. 30th with a home game against NC State. The game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. tip and will be the first ACC contest of the year for the Tigers.

Notes: Clemson improves to 11-1 on the season (best start since 2008-09) … the win is the first-ever over Louisiana-Lafayette in the first meeting between both programs … the 60 points allowed was the lowest point total all season long for the Cajuns … the Tigers held the Cajuns to just 28.1 percent from the floor – its lowest shooting percentage of the season … they held ULL to nearly 29 points below its season average coming in to the game (88.6) … Clemson made a season-high 11 3-pointers … eight different players made a three for just the third time in program history (tying Jan. 22, 1983 vs. Virginia; Nov. 13, 2009 vs. Presbyterian) … Donte Grantham notched 1,000 career points and his fourth career double-double (third of the season) … David Skara netted a season-high 11 points … Clyde Trapp scored a season-high eight points … the Tigers finished the game with over 50.0 percent shooting for the seventh time this season and are 6-0 in those games … the win gives head coach Brad Brownell his 135th victory at Clemson – moving him four wins shy of the third-most victories all-time at Clemson … the win moves Clemson to 70-29 (.707) all-time in November/December under Brownell.

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