Clemson aims to continue dominance vs. Wofford

NCAA Basketball

Clemson hopes to continue its recent mastery over visiting Wofford on Friday when the in-state rivals play their respective second games of the season.

The Tigers (1-0) have won nine consecutive games against the Terriers (1-0), who are a perennial contender in the Southern Conference. Wofford is tabbed for a third-place league finish in this year’s preseason media poll.

Clemson leads the all-time series against Wofford 11-1, but six of those games have been decided by single digits.

The Tigers, picked to finish 11th in the Atlantic Coast Conference preseason poll, opened the season Tuesday night with a come-from-behind 64-53 victory against Presbyterian.

Clemson trailed Presbyterian by eight points at intermission before outscoring the Blue Hose 40-21 in the second half en route to a 64-53 victory. Al-Amir Dawes led the Tigers with 21 points.

“Al’s a wild-card player,” Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. “He’s going to make some shots, but sometimes it’s like, ‘We don’t need that right now.’ We’re all still adjusting. We’ve got to figure out how to utilize our offensive package a little better.”

Senior forward Hunter Tyson scored 14 points in the opener, as did David Collins, a graduate transfer from South Florida.

“But we’ve got to continue to be better in our offensive execution,” Brownell said. “We’ve got figure out ways to better utilize guys, some guys need to make better decisions. We’re still adjusting.”

Clemson is coming off a 16-8 season, including a 10-6 ACC mark that helped the team to a fifth-place tie in the league standings. The Tigers recorded a third NCAA Tournament berth in 11 seasons under Brownell.

The Terriers, who have made five NCAA Tournament appearances since 2010, are coming off a 15-9 season and return three starters off last year’s team. They opened with a 117-79 romp against Bob Jones University, shooting 65.8 percent from the floor and 64.0 percent from 3-point range.

Sophomore guard Max Klesmit led six Wofford players in double figures with 23 points.

“We’ve got a lot to learn,” Wofford coach Jay McAuley said. “But a lot of young guys got their feet wet and we have a lot to look forward to.

“Twenty-two assists, that’s fantastic. Guys were playing inside-out, sharing the ball by committee. We’ll need to do that to be efficient and be dangerous this year.”

–Field Level Media

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