Charleston, SC (AP) - Elijah Thomas became the first Clemson Tiger in nine years to notch at least 15 points and 15 rebounds in the same game. Former Tiger and current Brooklyn Net forward Trevor Booker scored 15 points and grabbed 16 rebounds on the exact same day in 2008 in the exact same gym. Thomas scored 17 and pulled down 15 boards, both career-highs, in Clemson's 81-76 win over Ohio in the first game of the 2017 Charleston Classic.
Helping Thomas was Donte Grantham who went off for a season-high 20 points on 6-for-9 shooting, including a perfect 6-for-6 at the foul line. Shelton Mitchell reached double-figures with a season-high 16 points and dished five assists. Marcquise Reed was the fourth double-figure scorer and poured in 12 points.
The Tigers (3-0) seesawed back and forth with the Bobcats (1-1) in the opening half – taking a 42-38 advantage into the locker room.
Out of the break, the Tigers orchestrated an 11-3 run to push its lead to 12 points at 53-41 with 16:12 remaining. Clemson maintained that lead and even pushed it to a game-high 16 points with 7:38 left at 63-47 following a 3-pointer from Reed.
Ohio tried to claw its way back, but Clemson would fend off the Bobcats' attempted rally and secure the five-point win with clutch free throw shooting down the stretch.
All three games this season, the Tigers have managed to reach the charity stripe at least 20 times and finished 23-for-28 on Thursday night. The Tigers also won the rebounding battle for the third consecutive game, 35-28.
The Tigers return to the court on Friday, Nov. 17 at 9:30 p.m. against the winner of the Dayton and Hofstra game.
Notes: Elijah Thomas notched his third career double-double with 17 points and 15 rebounds … Thomas became the first Clemson player to achieve at least 15 points and 15 rebounds since Trevor Booker did it on the exact same date in the exact same gym nine years ago (11/16/08) vs. Temple … for the third-straight game the Tigers boasted at least four double-digit scorers … Donte Grantham became the first Tiger this season to eclipse 20 points in a game (season-high) … Shelton Mitchell notched a season-high with 16 points … for the third-straight game, the Tigers got to the foul line 20+ times – shooting 23-for-28 … the Tigers shot a season-best 58.6 percent from the field in the first half … with the win, the Tigers move to 7-2 all-time against members of the MAC … Clemson has started the season 3-0 in two of the past three seasons … Clemson moves to 62-28 all-time in the month of November under the direction of Brad Brownell … coach Brownell is now just six wins shy of 300 for his career (294).
Auburn Rises to Challenge, Takes Down Indiana State
Desean Murray scored 14 points and added a team-high 12 rebounds, while Bryce Brown notched a team-best 15 points as Auburn took down Indiana State in the opening round of the 2017 Gildan Charleston Classic, 83-64.
"I thought the kids executed extremely well," head coach Bruce Pearl said. "We've been working on our defense, rebounding and our transition defense, and that's probably the best defense we've played against a good team."
The Tigers (2-0) held the Sycamores (1-1) to a season-low 64 points on 17-of-56 (30.4 percent) from the floor. It was the first time Auburn held an opponent to fewer than 20 field goals since 2015 when it limited Georgia Southern to just 19 made shots.
"I thought Bryce Brown in particular played well going up against Brenton Scott, who is a dangerous player," Pearl stated. "Bryce Brown took him and wouldn't give him to anybody else."
Scott, who came into the matchup averaging 24 points per game, was held to just three points on 0-of-6 shooting and had three turnovers.
Murray's double-double marked the first time a player had accomplished the feat since Mustapha Heron did it against Missouri, March 8, 2017.
"It felt really good to get out on the court and just play as hard and good as we did," Murray said. "The coaches had us prepared and everybody was ready to play. We played great on the defensive end and it all starts with defense."
Chuma Okeke and Heron contributed 11 points apiece to highlight four players in double-figures. Heron extended his impressive run to the start of his career with his 33rd game with 10-plus points in 34 contests.
Okeke set a new career-high with his 11 points to go along with six boards and a team-high three steals in the 40-minute affair.
Jared Harper added nine points and tied a career-best with seven assists.
The Tigers tallied a season-best nine steals and matched its best mark of the 2017-18 campaign nine blocks.
Auburn controlled the paint as it outscored Indiana State, 38-20, inside the lane.
All nine players that played in the first half were responsible for scoring at least one point and the Tigers raced out to a 48-27 lead at halftime.
Auburn's largest lead came at the 9:42 mark in the second half following a pair of free throws by Davion Mitchell to make it a 27-point margin at 71-44. The Tigers maintained the lead and went on to take the result, 83-64.
Alston, Rose lead Temple to 76-65 win in Charleston
Shizz Alston Jr. had 23 points on five 3-pointers and Quinton Rose added 20 points as Temple opened its season with a 76-65 victory over Old Dominion at the Charleston Classic on Thursday.
The Owls (1-0), who were the last Division I team to play their first game, will face Auburn of the Southeastern Conference on Friday for a spot in Sunday's championship game. Old Dominion (2-1) plays Indiana State in the loser's bracket of the eight-team event.
Temple led by 19 points early in the second half before the Monarchs rallied to within 54-53 on Ahmad Caver's tip-in basket with 9:19 to go. But Alston followed with a 3-pointer to extend Temple's lead.
Old Dominion came within 67-65 on Brandon Stith's bucket with 2:08 left. This time, Rose stroked a three on Temple's next possession and the Owls went on to the victory.
Xavier Green had 15 points to lead Old Dominion in its first-ever meeting with Temple.
Pemberton leads Hofstra to win in Charleston Classic, 72-69