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Clemson Beats Georgia 74-64 in Littlejohn Season Opener

Transfer Marcquise Reed led the way with 19 points, as Clemson beat UGA 74-64 in newly renovated Littlejohn to open the season.

HIGHLIGHTS:

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Brad Brownell Part 1:

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Part 2:

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Gabe DeVoe and Marcquise Reed:

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BOX SCORE

CLEMSON, S.C. — Opening night in the newly renovated Littlejohn Coliseum did not disappoint from Clemson’s perspective Friday, as the Tigers ended the celebration a 74-64 winner over Georgia. The win came in front of a raucous, capacity crowd of 9,000 that did not disappoint with the reopening of the facility.

Sophomore guard Marcquise Reed exploded for 19 points to lead the Tigers in the win, hitting 5-11 field goals and all six of his free throw attempts. Clemson had four players in double figures, with Gabe DeVoe producing 15 in his first career start, combined with 13 from Jaron Blossomgame and 10 from Avry Holmes.

The undermanned Tigers were out-rebounded by the Bulldogs, 40-34, but held Georgia point guard J.J. Frazier to just 11 points with eight missed field goals. Yante Maten led the Dawgs with 19 points and 12 rebounds.

Clemson clung to a 51-48 lead in the second half, and coming out of a called timeout by coach Brad Brownell, responded with seven consecutive points by Reed. The stretch included a steal and fast break layup, as well as a three-pointer following an offensive rebound kickout from Sidy Djitte. His personal run pushed the lead to double digits again, and Clemson cruised down the stretch, connecting on 81 percent of its free throws to sale the game away late.

The Tigers return to action on Thursday, Nov. 17 against Davidson in the opening round of the Tire Pros Invitational, held in Orlando, Fla.

Clemson vs. Georgia

Postgame Quotes

Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownell

Opening statement:

“It was a special night for a lot of reasons. Certainly, the win was unbelievable. I’m proud of my team for showing grit and toughness. Super excited about the building and the turnout. To see this much orange and life in the building, it feels like our place. I’m really excited about creating new memories here. Tonight’s great, but this is more than tonight. This is a huge step for Clemson basketball.”

On his team’s play:

“Our defense was the difference in first half. We had guys fighting down there. Our pressure bothered Georgia. They did a couple of things we hadn’t seen that hurt us, but we made some adjustments. That’s the best thing about having older guys; you can make adjustments on the fly. Legend (Robertin) came in in the first half and made some good plays for us. Sidy (Djitte) battled. He’s a glue guy. (Donte) Grantham was down there guarding. He showed more physical presence than he’s had. I was really pleased to see Gabe (DeVoe) make shots early.”

On starting 1-0:

“It’s going to be hard (in Orlando). Davidson is tough, they can really score it. They have a good inside-outside combination. We need to relax for 24 or 36 hours, heal some wounds, because we are under-manned right now.”

On his team’s defense:

“I was pleased. We struggled to rebound the ball, and we knew that was a worry going into the game. We’ve got to really work at it. But in terms of following the game plan and making adjustments within the game, as well as guarding different positions, we handled that well. We worked through some things, and it helps that we have some experienced players.”

Georgia head coach Mark Fox

Opening statement:

“Our congrats to Clemson’s team and their fans. I thought they brought great energy in their opener and got off to a great start. We got back into it, but didn’t make the plays we needed to to come all the way back.”

On switching to a zone defense:

“It contributed to getting back into the game, but we didn’t play well on either end, really. I’m not taking anything away from Clemson at all. We didn’t play well enough to win. Not on the road against a team like this.”

On late comeback effort:

“We got it right where we needed to be (down 51-48), and then we turned the ball right over. We just played soft basketball.”

On Georgia’s defense:

“We let a guy catch it on an inbounds play and lay it off the backboard. That’s ridiculous. That’s one of our best players that falls asleep. We have to be more disciplined, and if you want to be lead dogs, you have got to play well. I was not pleased with our defense.”

On Clemson’s defense:

“I want to give them credit, but I’m very disappointed in the poise we showed. Our first call out of the gate wasn’t right. There was a lot of emotion as expected. I was disappointed in that. Their defense was great. I don’t want to take anything away from coach (Brad) Brownell’s team because they played well.”

On Clemson this year vs. last:

“I thought they had a very good team last year. It’s hard to gauge a first game out, obviously. We had not seen any tape of them this year, but they have another good team and I think they have experience and some key guys that shoot the ball very well. They shot the ball much better today, and I think they have a good team.”
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Clemson vs. Georgia

Postgame Notes

TEAM

  • Clemson opened the new Littlejohn Coliseum with a 74-64 victory over Georgia on Friday; the Tigers were displaced for the 2015-16 season during a $63.5 million renovation.

  • The win was Clemson’s first over Georgia since the 2006-07 season, which also came in Littlejohn Coliseum.

  • Clemson improved to 7-0 in season openers under head coach Brad Brownell.

  • The win was No. 108 in Brownell’s career at Clemson, fourth-most in program history.

INDIVIDUAL

  • Marcquise Reed made his Clemson debut after sitting out the 2015-16 season as a transfer. The sophomore made his mark with a team-high 19 points.

  • In two career games in Clemson, Reed has scored 40 points. He posted 21 as a freshman at Robert Morris in a non-conference game in the old Littlejohn Coliseum.

  • Reed tied a career-high with three makes behind the arc.

  • Reed collected a team-high three steals, giving him 70 for his career in just 36 games played.

  • Gabe DeVoe made his first career start on Friday night and responded with a double digit effort, scoring 15 points in the season opener.

  • DeVoe hit Clemson’s last three-point goal in the old Littlejohn Coliseum, and opened the new one in similar fashion after nailing a long-range attempt at the 15:35 mark of the first half.

  • Donte Grantham played 39 minutes in the opener, one shy of his career high (Syracuse, 2016).

  • Sidy Djitte, who played just 19 minutes due to foul trouble, pulled in a team-high nine rebounds.

  • Avry Holmes posted 10 points for the Tigers, and needs 72 to reach 1,000 for his career.

  • Jaron Blossomgame reached double figures in the scoring column for the 28th time in Clemson’s last 32 games, dating to the 2015-16 opener.

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