Tigers stretch winning streak to six


by - Senior Writer -
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Brad Brownell post-game press conference (MP3 Format)


Devin Booker post-game comments (MP3 Format)


Jerai Grant post-game comments (MP3 Format)


CLEMSON – Clemson head coach Brad Brownell said that basketball teams are going to struggle some nights on offense, and there are stretches during games where teams will struggle to shoot the ball.

He added that defense never takes the night off, and the Clemson Tigers needed every bit of their growing defensive edge Sunday afternoon against The Citadel, holding on for a hard-fought 69-54 victory in front of 7,613 fans at Littlejohn Coliseum.

Demontez Stitt scored 16 points and Jerai Grant and Devin Booker added 13 points apiece for the Tigers (11-4). Grant also added seven blocks in continuing his recent surge.

Clemson won its sixth consecutive game, despite shooting just 12-of-24 from the free-throw line, but they did hit 7-of-8 down the stretch.

“I was pleased with our first half,” Brownell said. “We controlled the tempo and played fast. The second half we did not play quite as well and we had a few slip ups. But to the credit of The Citadel, they played very hard.”

Clemson jumped out to a 24-9 lead 13 minutes into the first half, and led by as many as 17 points in the opening half. Forward Devin Booker opened the scoring with a three-pointer from the left key, and Clemson extended the lead to 22-7 on Booker's second 3-pointer with about nine minutes left in the first half.

The Tigers led 34-19 at intermission.

The Bulldogs didn’t go away quietly, however, and had trimmed the Clemson lead to just eight – at 44-36 – when Clemson went on an 8-2 run that effectively put the game out of reach.

Stitt made back-to-back 3-pointers, and Milton Jennings grabbed an offensive rebound and put the miss back for a bucket, giving the Tigers a 52-36 lead with 11:03 to play.

The Bulldogs pulled within 11 with three minutes left after a pair of free throws by Zach Urbanus, who scored 17 points. Mike Groselle added 14 points and 10 rebounds for The Citadel (5-9), which made 6-of-7 3-pointers before missing five straight in the final three minutes.

“On defense, we are making it difficult for the other team,” Brownell said. “As much as everybody wants to write about motion offense and style, that’s all fine with me, but I’m a defensive coach.  If you go back and look at my records and look at my teams, we are usually one of the better defensive teams in the league and sometimes one of the better defensive teams in the country in certain years.


“I believe you win with defense.  You aren’t going to shoot it well every night.  You aren’t going to make free throws some nights.  I believe in low turnovers.  I believe in being hard to play against defensively and being physical.  I think that’s what gives you more chances to win.  That’s how I’ve always played.  That’s how we’ll play here.  I think our guys are just beginning to understand it more that if you want to play for me that you are going to have to defend.  Sometimes when you make defensive mistakes, I ‘m going to jerk you out of the game.  That’s just the way I am and I think they’ve begun to understand that.”

Clemson forced 18 turnovers while committing only seven.

Booker made all three of his 3-point attempts -- all in the first half -- but was only 2-for-7 from 2-point range.

“I just wanted to go out there and show my stroke,” Booker said of his long-range shooting. “I knew their post players were going to play off of me because they think I can’t shoot three’s in the game. I just wanted to go out there and show them that I can shoot and make them play up on me which gets other players open.

“With the players we have it’s going to be hard to play off of us on the 3-point line and try to double the post, because our post players can shoot the mid-range jumper and the 3-pointer, so it’s going to be pretty hard for other post players to guard us.”

The Tigers open ACC play this Saturday when they host Miami, and Grant said he was glad to get a test in the final tune-up before conference play begins.

“A blowout would give us a false sense of security and Miami is a really good team,” Grant said. “We’re really kind of grateful that The Citadel put that much pressure on us and played so hard because it does in a sense get us ready and give us practice for ACC play.

We watched the tapes and the scouting reports and saw how hard they play so that wasn’t a surprise at all. Their motion offense gave me a little bit of trouble with their bigs ducking in and then us having to help the guards. That gave them a lot of room to offensive rebound and that’s what really killed us and let them come back in the game a little bit.”

Booker agreed with Grant.

“We’re kind of glad that they did test us a little bit because if it was a blowout we probably would’ve gotten a big head and thought we were going to do so awesome in our first game in the ACC,” he said. “It’s not going to be like that. It’s going to be hard-fought in all of the games in the ACC.”



VISITORS: The Citadel 5-9
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
21 Streeter, Bryan..... f  0-3    0-0    2-2    1  6  7   4   2  2  2  0  1  16
31 Groselle, Mike...... c  6-10   0-0    2-2    5  5 10   3  14  0  1  0  2  32
15 Urbanus, Zach....... g  6-10   2-4    3-4    1  1  2   4  17  1  1  0  0  32
22 Wells, Cameron...... g  4-16   2-3    2-4    1  4  5   2  12  2  7  0  0  36
24 Dahn, Austin........ g  2-5    2-3    0-0    3  0  3   1   6  2  2  0  0  28
03 Morabbi, Cosmo......    0-2    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  1  2  0  0  10
11 Wright, DeVontae....    0-1    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   3   0  0  2  0  0  10
12 Dejworek, Mike......    0-1    0-0    0-0    1  2  3   1   0  0  1  0  1  11
33 Eykyn, Daniel.......    0-2    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   1   0  0  0  0  0   5
45 Clark, Matt.........    1-7    0-2    1-2    4  5  9   3   3  0  0  0  0  20
   TEAM................                         4  2  6
   Totals..............   19-57   6-12  10-14  20 27 47  22  54  8 18  0  4 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half:  7-26 26.9%   2nd Half: 12-31 38.7%   Game: 33.3%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  1-2  50.0%   2nd Half:  5-10 50.0%   Game: 50.0%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  4-6  66.7%   2nd Half:  6-8  75.0%   Game: 71.4%    0


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: Clemson 11-4
                          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  5-10   3-3    0-3    0  3  3   5  13  0  1  1  0  25
45 Grant, Jerai........ f  6-6    0-0    1-4    3  4  7   2  13  1  1  7  0  28
02 Stitt, Demontez..... g  4-7    2-4    6-7    0  6  6   4  16  4  0  0  2  35
05 Smith, Tanner....... g  2-6    0-2    3-4    0  1  1   1   7  4  2  0  4  30
11 Young, Andre........ g  3-8    1-3    0-2    0  2  2   1   7  4  0  0  2  32
03 Anderson, Zavier....    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   5
10 Baciu, Catalin......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   3
12 Stanton, Cory.......    1-3    1-3    0-0    0  0  0   0   3  2  1  0  4  15
21 Narcisse, Bryan.....    0-3    0-0    0-0    2  1  3   1   0  0  0  0  1   9
24 Jennings, Milton....    4-11   0-1    2-4    5  5 10   0  10  0  2  0  0  18
   TEAM................
   Totals..............   25-54   7-16  12-24  10 22 32  14  69 15  7  8 13 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 13-30 43.3%   2nd Half: 12-24 50.0%   Game: 46.3%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  5-9  55.6%   2nd Half:  2-7  28.6%   Game: 43.8%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  3-6  50.0%   2nd Half:  9-18 50.0%   Game: 50.0%    4


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Officials: Bryan Kersey, William Humes, Tony Dawkins
Technical fouls: The Citadel-None. Clemson-None.
Attendance: 7613
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
The Citadel...................   19   35  -   54
Clemson.......................   34   35  -   69

Points in the paint-CIT 16,CU 30. Points off turnovers-CIT 11,CU 24.
2nd chance points-CIT 21,CU 7. Fast break points-CIT 2,CU 4.
Bench points-CIT 3,CU 13. Score tied-0 times. Lead changed-0 times.
Last FG-CIT 2nd-00:45, CU 2nd-02:38.
Largest lead-CIT None, CU by 17 1st-05:06.

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