Clemson escaped Starkville with an 84-82 victory Thursday evening at Humphrey Coliseum despite Mississippi State all-American candidate Jamont Gordon's 11th career double-double effort.
K.C. Rivers' 3-pointer from the right wing with 1:11 remaining in the game gave the Tigers a 77-73 lead. Later, inside the final minute, freshman Demontez Stitt hit six straight free throws to keep the Bulldogs at arm's length.
For the game, Clemson shot 73 percent from the free throw line.
Gordon scored 23 points on a 7-of-16 effort from the floor to surpass the prestigious 1,000-career point mark, along with 12 rebounds. Fellow All-SEC, first-teamer Charles Rhodes recorded 13 points of his own in the losing effort, while sophomore standout Jarvis Varnado also claimed 12 rebounds and his second-straight six-block outing.
The Tigers were led by freshman guard Terrence Oglesby and junior Rivers who each scored 17 points on a collective 9-of-23 effort from the floor. As a team, Clemson was held to only 34 percent from the floor but took the advantage by attempting six more shots than the Bulldogs.
After losing the lead early in the first half, coach Rick Stansbury's Bulldogs (1-1) went into halftime down 39-32. After a hard-fought second stanza, State was sparked by a Varnado jumper and stormed out to a 9-0 run to take a two-point lead. Soon after, however, the Tigers would respond with an 8-0 stretch of their own to regain the lead for the final time.
The loss breaks an eight-game home winning streak for Mississippi State.
Tigers Hang On in Starkville
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