Clemson Keeps Rolling

CLEMSON – It was status quo for the Clemson basketball team: Another game against a mid-major team that ended in a major blowout. <br>

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Sharrod Ford scored 15 and Shawan Robinson added 13 to lead the Tigers to the 76-52 victory over The Citadel Friday night at Littlejohn Coliseum.

Clemson, which has now won five straight, improves to 7-1, while The Citadel drops to 6-2.

"Obviously the tale of the tape in this game was our inside play," Tigers coach Oliver Purnell said. "Our game plan from the start was we wanted to go inside with Sharrod and Akin (Akingbala) and we maintained that throughout."

While Clemson was almost unstoppable in the paint on the offensive end, the Tigers were equally as dominant down low on defense.

Clemson out rebounded the Bulldogs 49-30, and even more impressive was the fact that there were nine Tigers with at least four rebounds, and six with at least five.

"If Clemson was predicted in the preseason to finish near the bottom of the ACC, no wonder they have seven teams ranked in the top 25," The Citadel head coach Pat Dennis said. "They're a good, good team."

The closest The Citadel got at any point from midway through the first half until the end of the game was 15 at 49-34 with 13:40 left play in the game.

From there, the Tigers doubled that lead and pushed it to 71-41 late in the game.

As has been the case for nearly every game this season, the Tigers started out sluggish, hitting just one of their first six shots from the field. But because of their stingy defense, they were still able to maintain a 9-7 lead with 13:11 left to play in the first half.

However, that's when the offense for Clemson kicked into high gear, which has also been the case for nearly every game this season.

The Tigers went on a 20-4 run to pull away for a 29-11 lead and eventually went into halftime leading 40-20.

"We have been coming not playing good and getting off to a slow start," Ford said. "And that's definitely going to have to change. We can't come out and do that against good teams and then expect to get a big spurt and go up by 20."

One of the more amazing stats that will be seen this season is that Clemson shot 51.9 percent from the field despite going 2-for-11 from beyond the 3-point range. From 2-point range, the Tigers were 12-of-16 shooting.

"We had some difficulty staying focused," Purnell said. "Anytime you get up on a team by 20 in the first half, it's difficult to maintain that focus. …

"We wanted to win, we wanted to play better and we wanted to get out of here without anybody being hurt. And anytime you can do that, you've got to be happy."

The Tigers now head to Hawaii to participate in the Rainbow Classic, where they play Tuesday in a first-round game against Alabama-Birmingham, which advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament last year.

Following two more games in Hawaii, Clemson returns home for a 7 p.m. game against East Carolina on Dec. 29. The game will also be televised on Fox Sports Net South. Top Stories