CLEMSON, S.C. – Sparked by a career performance from Hunter Tyson, the Clemson University men’s basketball team recorded a commanding victory at Littlejohn Coliseum on Sunday. The Tigers defeated the Detroit Mercy Titans 87-65 for their third-straight victory.
Tyson’s 20 points were the most by a Clemson non-starter since last season when Marcquise Reed also scored 20 points off the bench at South Carolina (Dec. 22, 2018) in a 78-68 victory.
Clemson (3-1) led for the majority of the contest, using a balanced scoring attack to keep the Titans (0-2) at bay. The Tigers shot 44.1 percent from the floor, going 11-of-33 from 3-point territory. In addition, Clemson tabbed 34 points in the paint and amassed 32 points off the 18 turnovers committed by the Titans.
With a career-best 20 points, Tyson also knocked down a career-high five 3-pointers to go along with his five rebounds. Down low, Aamir Simms shot 7-for-10 from the field and compiled 19 points and eight boards. Also of note, Tevin Mack contributed 18 points and four rebounds. Antoine Davis, the son of Detroit Mercy Head Coach Mike Davis, was the Titans’ leading scorer with 26 points.
A pair of 8-0 runs helped the Tigers garner breathing room against the Titans. In the first half, a thunderous dunk out of the fast break by Simms highlighted an 8-0 run that put Clemson ahead 16-9 at the 10:06 mark. Clemson went on to lead 38-29 at halftime, with 15 of their first-half points resulting from Detroit Mercy turnovers.
The Tigers outscored the Titans 49-36 in the second half, with Simms scoring 11 points and continuing to thrive in the fast break over the course of the final 20 minutes. A quick 8-0 run that was put together in under two minutes of action culminated in Clemson taking a 66-52 lead with just over eight minutes to play, and the Tigers never looked back.
You’d have to go all the way back to the season opener last season for the last time the Tigers garnered 20 assists in a game. Clemson posted 20 assists on 31 made baskets in the triumph.
Clemson will look to build off its 87-65 triumph when back in action on Thursday, Nov. 21. The non-conference contest at Littlejohn will feature the Tigers taking on the Alabama A&M Bulldogs (0-4), with the game tipping off at 7 p.m. and airing on ACC Network.
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Brad Brownell Postgame QuotesOn Clemson’s second-half adjustments:“I thought we played really well most of the game. It was really in the second half where we started playing better and made our adjustments.”
On Hunter Tyson getting more minutes:“This game really played to [Tyson’s] strengths. He was able to shoot and beat the closeouts. He needs to be out there and continue to defend. He played really well today.”
On spreading out the offensive attack:“We’ll take that. 20, 19 and 18 points by three different players. That’s a pretty good day for us. This game was a different feel. It was a six-point game for about 10 or 12 possessions in a 70-possession game. We thought they might work short and give the ball to Davis, who had 26 today.”
On attacking the basket in the second half:“We thought, in the first half, we were settling at times. When we weren’t stretching the floor, we were struggling inside. In the second half, we changed our game from the first half. In the first six minutes, we started to set the tone defensively because we knew we did not have good rhythm. At halftime, I thought, offensively, we needed to attack the basket more instead of settling for jump shots.”
On Khavon Moore improving:“I think [Moore] does some really nice things out there, defensively. He had a nice steal, and the defensive rebounds helped us out. He is continuing to improve. He’s one of those guys who’s really a freshman, since he transferred. I’m excited to see his game improve.”