Clemson hits 13 three-pointers in rout of Mercer

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Dawson Powers-USA TODAY Sports
Dawson Powers-USA TODAY Sports

CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson knocked down 13 three-pointers and held Mercer (5-5) to a 30% field goal percentage as the Tiger advance to 6-2 on the year and remain undefeated in the newly renovated Littlejohn Coliseum. Five players scored in double-figures to fuel Clemson’s 90-47 victory, the team’s largest margin of victory this season.

Donte Grantham paced the Tigers with a game-best 19 points, six boards, a block and a steal. Jaron Blossomgame wasn’t far off with 16 points on the day while Shelton Mitchell did it all for Clemson, tallying 13 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. Gabe DeVoe matched Mitchell’s 13 points with Avry Holmes not far behind with 10 on the day. Together, the five double-digit scorers shot 49% from the floor and knocked down 17 of their 22 free throws. They combined for 11 of Clemson’s 13 buckets from beyond the arc, which is just three, three-pointers shy of Clemson’s program record of 16 threes in a single game.

Defensively, the Tigers controlled the Bears throughout the contest as Mercer suffered scoring droughts as long a eight minutes. Clemson out-rebounded Mercer 44-35 while forcing 18 turnovers, earning eight blocks and 11 steals. Off Mercer’s 18 turnovers, the Tigers capitalized for 25 points.

Mercer managed to stay competitive until the Tigers took off on a 24-7 run with eight minutes left in the first half to control a 49-25 advantage at halftime. Blossomgame led the charge with 10 points while Grantham, DeVoe, Mitchell and Holmes combined for the other 14.

The Tigers finish off a five-game homestand on Tuesday, Dec. 13 against SC State, with tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m.

Postgame Notes

•Clemson defeated Mercer by 43 points this afternoon, the second largest margin of victory for the Tigers since Brad Brownell became head coach for the 2010-11 season. The largest is an 86-41 win over Florida A&M on 11-14-14, the season opener of the 2014-15 season. This win was the largest victory margin since that game.

•Clemson has had consecutive wins by 40 points or more after beating Coppin State 85-43 in the previous game. Brad Brownell now has four wins by 40 points or more in his Clemson career and two of the four have been the last two games.

•This is the first time Clemson has won consecutive games by 40 points or more since the first two games of the 2009-10 season, Oliver Purnell’s final season as Clemson head coach. The Tigers downed Presbyterian 84-41 and Liberty 79-39 in the first two games that year.

•The Tigers had five players in double figures against Mercer, the fourth time that has happened this season. Clemson had five players score in double figures just twice all of last season.

•Three point shooting was a key for Clemson in the win over Mercer. The Tigers made 13 on the nation, including five made threes in the first 7.5 minutes of action. Each of Clemson’s first four made field goals were threes.

•Clemson made 23 of 31 free throws and Mercer made 5-7. Through eight games, Clemson has made 145 free throws and opponents have ATTEMPTED just 87. Clemson has made more free throws than the opposition in every game this year.

•Clemson’s 13 made three point shots were just one short of the most by a Clemson team under Brad Brownell. Clemson had 14 made threes in a loss at Minnesota last year. The school record for any game is 16.

•Jaron Blossomgame made the 100th start of his Clemson career and finished with 16 points. He now has 1287 points for his career, 21st on the Clemson career scoring list. He needs just 22 point to move past Sharone Wright into 20th place. Wright had 1308 between 1991 and 1994.

•Shelton Mitchell had a career high seven rebounds in this afternoon’s Clemson victory. It was just his fourth Clemson game, but the 35th of his collegiate career including his time at Vanderbilt. Mitchell tied for game honors with his seven rebounds, It was the first time a Clemson point guard led or tied for the lead in rebounds since Jordan Roper did so when he had seven rebounds at Florida State on Jan. 30, 2016.

•Mitchell had 13 points, five assists and seven rebounds in a fine all around game against Mercer. Mitchell is the second player this year to have at least 13 points, five assists and seven rebounds in the same game. Gabe Devoe had 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists against Xavier.

•Dante Grantham made 4-6 three point shots this afternoon and led the Tigers in scoring with 19. It was his second highest scoring game of the year (21 vs. Xavier) and just three points shy of his career high of 22 vs. on two occasions last year. Grantham has now made 10 of his last 18 three point shots over four games.

•Legend Robertin had a career high tying four blocked shots in just 16 minutes this afternoon. He now has four blocks in each of the last two games. Robertin is the first Tiger to do that since the first two games of last year when Landry Nnoko had six in the opener against NC Central and five in the second game against UT San Antonio

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