The Bayou Bengals, 3-2 overall and 1-2 on the islands, got another strong performance from Jordan Mickey, who poured in a game-high 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, as well as a career-best 16 points off the bench from Tim Quarterman, who also registered seven rebounds and three assists.
But it wasn’t enough as no other LSU player scored more than seven points and the Palmetto-state Tigers enjoyed a balanced outing with four players in double figures.
Damarcus Harrison led Clemson with 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting while Jaron Blossomgame posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Johnny Jones’ Tigers continued their icy shooting from deep, finishing the contest 1-of-13 from three. Another contributing factor to the loss for LSU was Jarell Martin’s foul trouble. The sophomore from Baton Rouge ended the game with seven points and eight rebounds (six offensive), but he played just 22 minutes, well below his season average, after picking up his fourth foul early in the second half.
LSU led 31-30 at the half, and things went back-and-forth most of the final 20 minutes with the purple and gold either tied or slightly leading Clemson.
Donte Grantham’s three with two minutes left gave Clemson a 57-56 lead, one it wouldn’t relinquish even as Mickey heaved up a decent look at a three right before the final buzzer.
LSU returns to the floor Saturday night at home versus McNeese State.
Final notes of interest: John Odo started at center for Elbert Robinson III, and the 7-foot-1 freshman didn’t play at all in the ballgame. It marked the first time this season Robinson didn’t start. Freshman Aaron Epps didn’t play in the game either, giving him two DNP-CD’s for the tournament.