Clemson bench powers Tigers past Presbyterian, 69-41

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Sidy Djitte turned in his second double-double of season Tuesday night in Clemson's 69-41 victory over Presbyterian College.

After getting the starting nod at center for the second straight game, Djitte scored 12 points and grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds. Avry Holmes added 12 points and Gabe DeVoe came off the bench to add 11.

"It was good for us to come in tonight and show that we're ready to go on to the next step," Djitte said of the final regular-season game against a mid-major program.

DeSean Murray, who scored 13 of Presbyterian's first 17 points, finished with 15 points on 6 of 16 shooting and eight rebounds.

Presbyterian (4-6) led 11-10 with just over 13 minutes to play in the first half, but was outscored 59-30 the rest of the way.

"We matched their defense and made some hustle plays in the first half, and I couldn't have been prouder," said Presbyterian head coach Gregg Nibert. "In the second half, they jumped on us, and we lost our head a little bit. Our guys started talking a little bit, and we can't do that."

Clemson took a 36-26 lead into halftime, despite hitting just 11 of 27 shots (41 percent) from the field, including 3 of 12 (25 percent) from 3-point range.

The Tigers connected on 24 of 57 (42 percent) of their shots from the field, but were just 5 of 23 (22 percent) from beyond the arc, well below their average of 8.6 3-pointers made per contest.

But Clemson's size on the low post kept the Blue Hose offense from putting together a significant run.

Presbyterian shot 16 of 58 (28 percent) from the field and 1 of 10 (10 percent) from beyond the arc.

The combination of Djitte, Landry Nnoko and Josh Smith underneath the basket helped Clemson to a 51-30 advantage on the boards. The Tigers also scored 18 second-chance points, while Presbyterian scored eight off offensive rebounds.

"I thought we did the things we needed to do to win," Clemson head coach Brad Brownell said. "I thought we made it a little bit hard on Murray — he's a good player, an undersized player who knows how to score. We made him take a lot of shots to get his points.

"We did a better job of blocking out and getting out in transition and getting a few easy baskets, even though we didn't shoot the ball very well."

None of Clemson's starters played more than 26 minutes as the Tigers played their second game in three days. Leading scorer Jaron Blossomgame, who averages more than 17 points per game, scored seven points in 21 minutes.



The game was Clemson's last against a mid-major program this regular season. The Tigers play their third game in six days Friday against rival South Carolina before heading to Georgia on Dec. 22. Clemson's ACC slate then begins Dec. 30 at North Carolina.


Murray, the Big South's Freshman of the Year last season, leads the conference in scoring at 21.6 points per game.


Clemson hosts South Carolina Friday

Presbyterian hosts Piedmont Saturday


"We're not all the way ready at all. We've stumbled in some games that we need to win. We're improving in some areas, but we're still not quite all the way there at all. There's still some things we need to do." — Clemson head coach Brad Brownell on the impending ACC schedule, which begins Dec. 30 at North Carolina for his Tigers.

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