ORLANDO, FL — Avry Holmes fueled Clemson to its highest-scoring performance in the Brad Brownell era, and the Tigers used a 14-0 first half run to pull away from Davidson and win 95-78 in the opening round of the Tire Pros Invitational. Clemson moves on to the winners bracket to face the winner of #11 Xavier and Missouri, who followed the Tigers from HP Field House.
“Once we woke up after they had us down early, we guarded well and knocked a lot of balls loose,” Brownell said. “We knew they were going to shoot at lot of threes, but we hung in there and were able to score in transition to open the game up. I’m proud of how our guys played. Avry was fantastic today.”
Holmes produced a team-high 22 points and was efficient, hitting 4-7 long range shots. Clemson showcased its balance, with all five starters in double figures. Jaron Blossomgame added 17 and Gabe DeVoe chipped in 16 for the Tigers, who scored their highest point total since the 2009-10 season. The Tigers shot 51.7% from the field and 40.9% from 3-point range. They were also an outstanding 26-32 from the free throw line after shooting 16-18 against UGA at the charity stripe.
The first half turned in Clemson’s favor when the Tigers put together their 14-0 run. The stretch was punctuated by a throw-ahead to Blossomgame for an easy slam. In all, Davidson turned the ball over 13 times in the opening half and missed 17 three-point attempts. Clemson took advantage with 17 points off turnovers.
In the second, Davidson pulled within 12 points at 71-59, but the Tigers eased back into control when Holmes buried his fourth three-pointer and DeVoe followed with a layup off a cut into the paint. Legend Robertin scored the final bucket for the Tigers with an impressive 3-point play. Sidy Djitte picked up his 4th foul fairly early in the 2nd half after fouling out late against Georgia. It will be critical for Sidy to stay out of foul trouble with the Tigers' lack of size in the front court.
Postgame Notes: ESPN announced Thursday the Tigers would be part of the 2017 Gildan Charleston Classic field … slated to join Clemson in the event are Auburn, Dayton, Hofstra, Indiana State, Ohio, Old Dominion and Temple … Holmes’ 22 points were his high as a Tiger, and his six rebounds were a career high … Clemson’s 95 points were the most by the program since scoring 102 against Winthrop on Nov. 23, 2009 … The Tigers’ win was their second over Davidson in a regular season tournament in the last four years (2013 Charleston Classic) … Clemson had five players with at least 12 points, a first since 2008 against Florida State in double overtime … Sidy Djitte matched a career high with eight made free throws … Grantham tied a career high with eight rebounds … Grantham needs one three-point goal to reach 100 for his career.