Clemson drops first game in Cayman Islands Classic final

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Clemson drops first game in Cayman Islands Classic final

No. 16 Clemson’s comeback bid versus Creighton fell short Wednesday as the Tigers dropped their first game of the season in the Cayman Islands Classic final, 87-82.

After trailing by 10 at the half, the Tigers (5-1) cut the lead to three with under 30 seconds to go, but the Bluejays sealed the deal at the free throw line, where they hit 19-of-25 attempts on the night.

Creighton (5-1) shot around 60 percent for much of the first half - led by 19 points from guard Ty-Shon Alexander - to a 45-35 lead. They finished hitting 55.8 percent from the field overall.

Alexander continued to lead the Bluejays’ charge in the second half - reaching a career-high in the early minutes of the second session and finishing with 36 points.

Marcquise Reed led Clemson with 27 points on 11-of-22 shooting. He was joined in double-figures by Shelton Mitchell (13), Elijah Thomas (11) and Aamir Simms (10).

Clemson hit just 5-of-19 3-point attempts.

Creighton has made back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances out of the Big East. They came in rated as the No. 25 offense in college basketball, per KenPom.

Clemson returns to action in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge at home versus Nebraska on Nov. 26 (7 p.m.).

For their play during the tournament, both Reed and Mitchell earned All-Cayman Islands Classic Tournament honors.

Notes: Marcquise Reed scored a team-high 27 points – his 28th career 20-point outing and fourth of the 2018-19 season en route to topping the 1,000-career point mark … Reed made a career-best 11 field goals … David Skara finished with a career-high 11 rebounds.

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