Led by Avry Holmes’ 22 points, Clemson put all five starters in double figures Thursday in a 95-78 men’s basketball victory against Davidson in the first game of the eight-team Tire Pros Invitational.
Peyton Aldridge scored 22 points and Jack Gibbs added 18 for Davidson, which went cold after hitting six 3-point shots in the first seven minutes.
The Wildcats (1-1) fell behind by 21 points before Aldridge led a rally that cut the deficit to 12 with nine minutes left.
Jaron Blossomgame, who scored 17 points, helped Clemson pull away with a strong finish.
The Tigers (2-0) shot 52 percent and committed only eight turnovers in achieving their highest point total in Brad Bromwell’s seven seasons as coach.
Three who mattered
Aldridge, Davidson: The 6-foot-8 junior had eight rebounds and provided the Wildcats with their only inside scoring threat.
Holmes, Clemson: The senior guard added six rebounds and defensive leadership to his 22 points, the most he has scored for the Tigers.
Gibbs, Davidson: He gave the Wildcats penetration and four assists in 28 foul-plagued minutes, shooting 7-for-18 from the field.
▪ Coach Bob McKillop said Davidson’s two most noteworthy deficiencies were “21-4 points off turnovers and 38-24 points in the paint.”
▪ Davidson’s first six field goals came on 3-pointers, but the Wildcats missed 15 straight before Jordan Watkins connected with 13 minutes, 55 seconds remaining.
▪ Down by 13 at the end of he first half, Davidson worked for a good shot, but Dusan Kovacevic wound up taking a 25-footer with 6-10 Sidy Djitte in his face.
▪ Davidson will play Missouri in the consolation semifinals Friday at 11:30 a.m. (ESPNU). ... In the semifinals (ESPNU, 1:30 p.m.), Clemson will play No. 11 Xavier, which edged Missouri 83-82 in overtime.
▪ Davidson had a 42-32 rebound advantage, including a 20-9 edge in offensive rebounds.
▪ Clemson has allowed only 11 points off turnovers in its first two games, including four against Davidson.
They said it
“The nature of our team is to go inside-out, but the demon of making those early threes hung around our heads quite a bit.” - McKillop.
“I think we just decided to get aggressive defensively. I decided to pick up Gibbs fullcourt and give ’em a different look, switch different guys on him. We got kind of lazy and then we just picked it up.” - Holmes on Clemson’s 15-0 run late in the first half.
“I think they were pretty patient and making sure they were getting good looks. That’s on us. We’ve got to put pressure on the ball . . . so they can’t get get easy looks like they did.” - Peyton Aldridge.