Holmes scores 20 as Tigers roll over Spartans

by - Senior Writer -
<span style=Photo by Dawson Powers / USATODAY">
Photo by Dawson Powers / USATODAY

GREENVILLE – Avry Holmes scored a Clemson career-high 20 points and the Tigers hit eight 3-pointers in a 39-point first half, cruising to a 76-56 victory over USC Upstate at the Bon Secours Wellness Center Wednesday night.

The Tigers, playing just two days after a late loss at Minnesota on Monday, improved to 5-2 on the season while Upstate fell to 1-8.

"We had an incredible, short turnaround with the 5AM arrival yesterday morning and really no practice yesterday, just kind of a one day prep," Clemson head coach Brad Brownell said. "I thought our guys showed great focus and energy. I thought Avry Holmes was outstanding."

Holmes scored his 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. Jaron Blossomgame and Ty Hudson each scored 11 in joining Holmes in double figures. Overall, the Tigers 28-57 (49.1 percent) from the field, including 13-29 (44.8 percent) from 3-point range.

"It's just confidence," Holmes said. "I feel like it is the pace of the game. I think a lot of the guys play better with a faster pace, getting closeouts and getting wide open rhythm three's. Guys feel confident."

Josh Cuthbertson led Upstate with 11 points.

The teams were scoreless through the game’s first two-and-half minutes, but a Blossomgame layup broke the ice, and the Tigers went on a roll. Clemson jumped out to an 8-3 lead after a dunk by Blossomgame a few minutes later.

Three-pointers kept Upstate close, but freshman Ty Hudson hit three consecutive three-pointers to put Clemson up 23-12 with just over eight minutes to play in the half. Avry Holmes then scored nine straight points as Clemson expanded the lead to 14 at 32-18 with 5:23 to play in the half.

Upstate called a timeout trailing 32-20 with 3:33 to play in the half but missed an open look coming out the timeout. Jordan Roper hit a 3-pointer that made it 35-20 and Holmes grabbed a rebound and drove the length of the floor for a layup that made it 37-20 with just over two minutes to play in the half.

Clemson eventually led 39-22 at intermission after hitting 8-of-17 from beyond the arc. Hudson and Roper led the Tigers with nine points apiece.

The Tigers went on an 8-4 run in the first five minutes of the second half, with a layup by Holmes and back-to-back 3-pointers from Blossomgame and Grantham that made it 47-28 with 14:53 to play.

The Tigers kept a working margin of about 20 points, but a turnaround jumper by Josh Smith, a 3-pointer by DeVoe and a 3-pointer by Smith made it 66-42 with 7:36 to play. It was at that point that big man Legend Robertin – who was cleared by the NCAA earlier in the day – made his second appearance.

Robertin quickly grabbed a rebound – after getting a steal earlier – and hit two quick baskets to the delight of the crowd, the second a dunk that gave Clemson a 70-46 lead with just under six minutes to play. Robertin had to leave the game just a few minutes later after he came down awkwardly on his leg.

The Tigers substituted liberally from that point on. Clemson returns to The Well Sunday, hosting Wofford in a 2 p.m. tipoff. The Tigers will then have a week off before hosting Alabama on Dec. 13th at 6 p.m.

Comment on this story
Send Feedback to David Hood: Email | Comment
Former Clemson DB claimed by 49ers
Former Clemson DB claimed by 49ers
Clemson loses road matchup with Syracuse
Clemson loses road matchup with Syracuse
Jim Boeheim takes shot at reporter's height after win over Clemson
Jim Boeheim takes shot at reporter's height after win over Clemson
Post your comments!
Sign Up for E-Mail News Alerts
Daily Digest