Clemson wins on New Year's Day

Adonis Filer

Clemson produced season-best offensive numbers in terms of shooting percentage and points in a 92-51 rout of The Citadel on Tuesday, the Tigers' final non-conference game prior to the start of ACC play.

The win improved Clemson to 8-4, while dropping The Citadel to 3-8 on the season.

Adonis Filer scored a season-high 21 points, the most for a Tiger freshman since Terrence Oglesby had 21 against Puerto Rico-Mayaguez in 2007-08. Filer did not miss in seven field goal tries and was 3-4 from the line. He made all four of his three-point attempts, also a season-best. Jordan Roper, another freshman guard, added 13, while Damarcus Harrison chipped in 10.

The Tigers' 92 points were the most by the program since the 2009-10 season, when Oliver Purnell's final team posted 94 against College of Charleston. Clemson shot 61 percent and made 35 field goals, a high in 77 games under Head Coach Brad Brownell. Defensively, the Tigers had 16 steals – also a high under Brownell. Point guard Rod Hall had four of the steals. Ten of Clemson's 11 active players scored Tuesday.

Clemson jumped out to an 8-3 lead, but The Citadel closed to within a point after Matt Van Scyoc scored on a transition bucket. The Bulldogs actually took the lead at 9-8 on a pair of free throws, but the Tigers responded with a 16-6 run that included seven points from Filer. The Tiger lead stretched to 12 at 30-18 on a corner three by Milton Jennings. He then found a cutting Rod Hall for a layup to push the advantage to 14.

Clemson's run reached 13-0 after Jordan Roper converted a layup behind a screen from Devin Booker. Filer hit his second trifecta on the next possession to make it 39-18. The lead reached 24 on yet another Filer three-pointer with two minutes left in the half. Clemson took a 47-27 lead into the halftime break.

A modest 9-7 run coming out of the break ended on a layup inside by Devin Booker, who hit the floor hard after tangling with Bulldog center Mike Groselle. Booker had eight points and four rebounds, despite playing on a sore ankle. He left the game and did not return after 17 minutes of play, but is expected to be okay.

Clemson used a working margin throughout the second half. With Clemson up 60-40, the Tigers put together an 8-2 run that included dunks from Filer and K.J. McDaniels to push the lead to 26 points. Filer hit his fourth three of the game moments later to give Clemson a 75-47 lead. McDaniels provided a late highlight with a block on one end followed by an alley-oop on the other to bring the home crowd to its feet as the Tigers built a 35-point lead with just over four to play.

Groselle led The Citadel with 13 points and was 6-of-7 from the field. He did have five of the Bulldogs' 25 turnovers. The Citadel shot 50 percent, but was outscored 44-13 in points off turnovers.

The Tigers stay at home to open the regular season portion of the ACC schedule on Saturday, Jan. 5. Clemson will play host to Florida State at 4:00 PM at Littlejohn Coliseum.

Overall thoughts
"I thought it was a really good game for us offensively. I don't know that defensively we were as good as we needed to be at times. We didn't play as sound defensively as I would have liked, but moving in to conference play it was good to see us shoot the ball well and have a convincing win and a good offensive performance. We are better than the last two teams we have played, and you need to exploit that. In a game with as many possessions as we had, and as many defenses as they showed us, we did well to only have eight turnovers. We shared the ball well and had a lot of advantage situations and didn't get in too big of a hurry. We had a reasonably good mix, though I would have liked a little more inside scoring at times. We got away from that a little in the first half. Overall, a pretty good performance by our guys."

On Adonis Filer's performance
"It was good to see Adonis make four threes today. They played off of him, gave him open shots and he made them. We have had other games where that has happened and we haven't made them. Other than him just knocking down the open shots, I really liked his energy and spark defensively. I thought he really got after the ball handler and pressured and got our defense going a little bit. I think his greatest strength right now is his competitive spirit. He wants to play, he wants to compete, and he's not afraid. It's a huge help to our team when he can make shots like that. He is a little streaky right now as a shooter, but we need him to have some games like this if we are going to beat some good teams in our league."

On the up-tempo offense
"You might see it a little bit more, but not as drastic. We are trying to play faster on offense, but to be honest with you, sometimes the players don't like to play fast, because they get tired. In games when we feel we have better players we do like to speed the game up a little bit. We like it, especially at home, but I'm not sure we will do it a lot in ACC play. When you play better competition with better guards they make you press at times so you have to be careful with that."

On the youth of the team
"There are a few more frustrating moments than years before because you feel like you get some things going in a good direction and then you either see something new that you haven't practiced as much and it shows or, because you have newer and younger guys who aren't as experienced with it there are things you think they should have mastered but they haven't because you are constantly game planning for another game or another situation.

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