CLEMSON, S.C. — Donte Grantham and Gabe DeVoe each recorded their first double-doubles of the season for Clemson, and the Tigers got off to a 2-0 start with an 87-63 victory over North Carolina A&T on Sunday.
The Tigers dominated inside, scoring 48 of their points in the paint, including several easy dunks. They also recorded 21 assists and 45 rebounds.
“Solid win today,” Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. “I thought offensively pretty good efficiency, especially from our starters. Guys really shared the ball. I thought we passed up some good shots for some great ones.”
Grantham scored 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds while DeVoe added 13 points, five assists and 10 rebounds.
Elijah Thomas and Marcquise Reed also put up 13 points each for the Tigers, who got 10 points and six assists from point guard Shelton Mitchell.
Coming off its highest point total (104) since 2011 in a win over Greensboro College in the season opener, North Carolina A&T (1-1) shot 40 percent (23 of 57) and was outrebounded 45-22.
“In games like these, a lot of times you want to take the easy way on defense and get the big steals and just try to get steals,” DeVoe said. “It teaches you defensive discipline.”
The Aggies shot 9 or 26 from the 3-points line, and Femi Olujobi scored 11 of his game-high 20 points in the first half, when they trailed 41-29.
“Their big kid is a good player,” Brownell said. “He was a hard matchup for us, but our 3-point defense wasn’t where we would’ve liked. We’ve got to make some improvement on that.”
Clemson led by 10 just four minutes into the game and the Aggies cut it to four before Clemson went on a 9-2 run to go up 13 with 5:11 left in the first half. The Tigers used a 15-3 run in the middle of the second half to pull away.
“A little bit in the first half we kind of let down our defensive discipline so we had to come out in the second half and put our foot back on the gas and find our way defensively, just attack,” Grantham said. “I think that’s what we did in the second half.”
North Carolina A&T: Off a team picked to finish last in the MEAC, the Aggies have found an offensive force in Olujobi, a transfer from Oakland who sat out last season. He upped his season output to 54 points on 19-of-27 shooting.
Clemson: Coming into the season, the Tigers were concerned about how they would defend and rebound. Through the first two games, they’ve outrebounded their opponents 84-54 and outscored them 172-120.
Senior center Mark Donnal, a graduate transfer from Michigan, scored nine points on 4-of-8 shooting. He stepped outside to hit one of his two 3-point attempts and he is filling a big void on Brownell’s roster.
STAT OF THE DAY
Clemson improved to 35-1 all-time against schools from the MEAC. This was the first matchup ever between the Tigers and Aggies on the hardwood.
N.C. A&T plays its second home game of the season when it hosts The Citadel on Wednesday.
Clemson will play three games in four days beginning Thursday in the Gildan Charleston Classic against Ohio.