CLEMSON - Listen to interviews with coach Oliver Purnell, Jerai Grant and Trevor Booker after…
Tigers cruise to victory
Clemson never trailed en-route to beating Virginia 72-49 at Littlejohn Coliseum on Saturday. The Tigers' record improved to 19-7 overall (7-5 in ACC) as the Cavaliers fell to 14-11 (5-7 in ACC).
Purnell said afterwards his team is a good basketball team striving to be great.
"To do that, you've got to go out on the road and win. That's a good test for you, to say that you are that," he said.
Clemson, of course, took care of business during its game home-stand, finishing with three-straight wins.
"We're trying to get back to our best basketball going into March," Purnell said. "We had an opportunity to do that because of this home-stand. Now we have to go back out on the road and get a couple."
Jerai Grant's solid play of late could make those road wins more attainable. He led all scorers with 18 points, blocked four shots and grabbed five rebounds. As he continues to make a case for himself as compliment to Booker, Grant's confidence grows by the game.
"I'm way more confident. It's just staying on the floor and staying out of foul trouble," Grant said.
Purnell's confidence in Grant continues to grow too.
"Jerai Grant was our most improved player last year. This year, he's elevated his game even more," Purnell said. "He's become a very good ACC player."
Defensively, it was David Potter who held Virginia's leading scorer Sylven Landesberg to just 11 points on 5-of-12 shooting from the field and 1-of-5 from behind the 3-point line.
"That project was given to Pott," said Andre Young. "David just really takes pride in his defensively abilities. But we definitely take pride in playing him as a team."
Landesberg made Virginia's first 3-pointer at the 11:40 mark in the first half, but the Cavaliers went over 30 minutes before making another shot from behind the arc. Clemson held Virginia to 35 percent shooting from the field and 2-of-13 shooting from 3-point land.
The Tigers shot 52 percent from the field, went 12-of-13 from the free-throw line and 6-of-17 from behind the arc.
Trevor Booker had 14 points and eight rebounds. Milton Jennings came off the bench to score a career-high 11 points. Young came off the bench to score eight and dish out three assists.
His buzzer beating 3-pointer at the end of the first half put the Tigers up 41-22.
"There's nothing wrong with a good basketball team. I'd just like to be a great one," Purnell said.
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