Clemson crushes South Carolina State

Clemson 77, South Carolina State 41
Clemson's K.J. McDaniels throws down a dunk during the second half. He scored 10 points as the Tigers defeated S.C. State for the 11th time.

CLEMSON, S.C. — Given the green light by coach Brad Brownell, Damarcus Harrison didn’t need an engraved invitation Sunday.


“Once he tells you to shoot it,” Harrison said, “you’ve got to shoot it, then you have nothing to worry about.”

A sophomore guard who transferred from Brigham Young, Harrison delivered the best performance of his first season at Clemson, coming off the bench for 15 points, four rebounds and six assists in a 77-41 win over South Carolina State.

Harrison had been averaging 5.0 points in 18 minutes with a high of 10 points at Furman.

“He’s trying to process a lot of things as well, and it’s frustrating when you’re not shooting the ball as well as you can,” said Brownell, who had been tutoring Harrison on his shooting technique. “He’s been good about it with his attitude.”

It was Harrison’s 6-foot-4 size and versatility that first caught Brownell’s eye.

Now, it’s only a matter of finding a role with this team.

“I’m good with the teammates,” Harrison said. “It’s just a confidence thing I’ve got to get.

“I was having trouble with it at the beginning, and I think I’m finding it right now, getting in a good rhythm, just knowing when to take my shots and when to pick my spots to score.”

Milton Jennings scored 15 points, Devin Booker 11 and K.J. McDaniels 10 as Clemson (7-4) beat S.C. State (4-9) for the 11th time in their 12 meetings.

Former Laney standout Rod Hall had six points and six assists for the Tigers.

Matthew Hezekiah scored 14 points and had seven boards off the bench to lead South Carolina State, which committed 18 turnovers to Clemson’s nine and shot 31 percent (18 of 58) from the field.

Clemson, 28-1 against teams from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, led by as many as 39 points.

It was a welcome reversal after a 23-point loss at Coastal Carolina four days earlier. Harrison said they returned to Clemson early the next morning and practiced twice that day.

“It was a good bounce-back game for our guys,” Brownell said. “I thought our guys approached the game the right way. We’ve had some good practices – some demanding practices the last couple of days. I think some of the things we worked on we saw today.”

Clemson’s 22 assists on 30 field goals were a high under Brownell. Point guard Rod Hall had six assists and no turnovers. Booker had seven rebounds.

“It was good to see us play a clean game,” Brownell said. “I thought we did a great job of having a businesslike approach after we got control of the game.

Clemson finished the first half with a 21-2 run for a 36-18 lead at the break and led by as many as 39 in the second half.



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