Clemson survives scare
Jerai Grant
Jerai Grant
Posted Dec 19, 2010

CLEMSON - It took Jerai Grant only 16 minutes to record the fourth double-double of his career, as he set the pace for Clemson’s 71-61 win over UNC Greensboro.

He scored a career-high 19 points at Littlejohn Coliseum on Sunday afternoon.

He also grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked five shots in his second-straight game off the bench.

“I guess it shows he’s more comfortable with me coming off the bench and providing a spark,” Grant said. “I’m fine with that. It’s the coach’s decision.

“As long as we’re winning—good.”

Clemson closed the final 3:59 of the first half with a 14-2 run, taking a 37-16 lead into the second half.

The first 20 minutes were considerably better than the final 20, as UNC Greensboro out-scored Clemson 45-34 in the second half.

“It was a tale of two halves,” said head coach Brad Brownell. “I’m really pleased with how the guys played in the first half.”

It didn’t take long for things to go awry in the second period.

Brownell admitted that it could have been the praise he handed out in the locker room.

“Killing these guys with kindness is not something they seem to respond to,” he said.

UNC Greensboro used a 7-0 run to open the second half, cutting Clemson’s lead to 37-23. Young upped the lead to 17 on a 3-pointer, following a timeout by Brownell.

Still, the Spartans battled their way back to within a bucket on two different occasions.

With nine minutes left to play, UNC Greensboro cut the lead to 49-47 on a 3-pointer by Trevis Simpson with 9:08 to play. The Spartans cut the lead to two again less than two minutes later.

Clemson managed to close the game with a 19-10 run.

“I think the bright spot in the second half was, when they did finally narrow the gap to as close as it was, our guys did have enough gumption, we did relax enough to make good plays, offensively, down the stretch,” Brownell said.

On 4-of-8 shooting from behind the 3-point line, Andre Young scored a game-high 22 points. He also dished out five assists.

“They got some momentum right there. We weren’t doing a good enough job, defensively, getting stops,” he said. “We grinded it out and got a win.”

The Tigers shot 55 percent from the field (27-of-49) and held the Spartans to a 37 percent clip.

With the win, the Tigers’ record improves to 7-4, dropping UNC Greensboro to 0-10.

“It’s exciting for me as a coach to see that good play, but I want to see if for 40 minutes,” Brownell said.

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