CLEMSON, S.C. — Adonis Filer fulfilled his father's birthday wish and helped give Clemson confidence heading into Atlantic Coast Conference play at the same time.
The freshman from Chicago scored a career high 21 points on a perfect shooting performance in the Tigers' 92-51 victory over Citadel, Clemson's 15th consecutive victory against its in-state opponent.
Filer surpassed his previous high of 14 set in December in a win against Florida A&M. Filer had a little extra incentive Tuesday, too, as a gift for his dad, Steve.
"He told me to try and put on a show for him," Filer said. "So I just did what I could."
Filer had 13 points in a game-breaking 27-4 first-half run. He finished 7 of 7 from the field, including four 3-pointers. The icing on the birthday cake was 6-foot-2 Filer's high-flying dunk in the second half to break his previous best. It followed Filer's mid-court steal and put the Tigers (8-4) ahead 66-42.
"That's really what coach (Brad) Brownell's been wanting us to do, keep pushing it more and more," Filer said.
Clemson hopes it gets the chance to do some pushing when the ACC starts Saturday. The Tigers were picked eighth in the league this preseason. Ten of their 12 players are sophomores and freshmen.
"There are a few more frustrating moments than years before," said Brownell, in his third season with the Tigers.
Clemson wiped away its early frustrations in this one with its decisive first-half run. Filer had three 3-pointers and 10 points during the surge, which turned a tight game into a blowout.
Former Laney standout Rod Hall had nine points, four steals, three assists and two rebounds in the rout.
Citadel (3-8) lost its seventh in a row on the season. The Bulldogs, though, hung with their Atlantic Coast Conference opponents early on as Dylen Setzekorn's arching 3-pointer drew them within a basket, 18-16, with 10:01 left before halftime.
That's when Filer and the Tigers got going on their back-breaking run. He opened the charge with a three as Clemson took control over the next eight minutes. Filer added two more 3-pointers and when he closed the run on a foul shot, the Tigers were ahead 45-20 and cruising.
Once Clemson turned up its defensive pressure, the Citadel fell apart once again. Clemson scored 25 points off 13 first-half Bulldog turnovers. Hall had a season-high four steals in the opening half for the Tigers. Clemson shot 63.3 percent (19 of 30) in the opening period against the Citadel.
Citadel coach Chuck Driesell was disappointed in his team's poise. "I thought we'd handle the pressure a little bit better," he said. "I thought we would execute offensively and not turn the ball over so much."
MARYLAND 81, IUPUI 63
In College Park, Md., freshman guard Seth Allen scored 13 points and Maryland (12-1) completed its nonconference schedule on a 12-game winning streak by beating IUPUI (6-12).
Logan Aronhalt came off the bench and finished with 10 points for the Terrapins. Maryland shot 54.7 percent (29 of 53) from the field.
Maryland has not lost since falling to then-No. 1 Kentucky 72-69 in the season opener. The Terrapins have their best record entering ACC play since 1998-1999 when they were 13-1. It is also Maryland’s longest winning streak in 10 years.
NO. 24 TEXAS A&M 80, RICE 57
In College Station, Texas, Kelsey Bone had 24 points and 14 rebounds and Texas A&M (10-4) beat Rice (8-5).
Bone, who has scored 15 or more points in her last seven games, led four Aggies in double figures. Kristi Bellock scored 12 points on 6 of 8 shooting, Karla Gilbert also scored 12 and Adrienne Pratcher had 11 points. Texas A&M led 49-30 at halftime.
The Aggies made 53 percent of their shots from the field and only attempted two 3-pointers, missing both. All four of A&M’s losses are to teams ranked 11th or above.