CLEMSON 92, THE CITADEL 51
By PETE IACOBELLI
CLEMSON — Freshman Adonis Filer scored a career high 21 points on a perfect shooting performance and fueled a 27-4 first-half run that carried Clemson to its 15th straight victory over Citadel 92-51 on Tuesday.
Filer had three 3-pointers and 10 points during the surge, which turned a tight game into a blowout for the Tigers (8-4).
Citadel (3-8) lost its seventh straight 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.
Filer was 7 of 7 from the field. He lone miss came at the foul line, where he was 3 of 4.
Mike Groselle had 13 points to lead the Citadel, which finished with a season high 25 turnovers. Setzekorn added 11 points for the Bulldogs.
Jordan Roper had 13 points and Damarcus Harrison 10 for the Tigers.
Clemson’s leading scorer, Devin Booker, finished with just 8 points, although he did not play most of the second half after turning his left ankle after a dunk.
Booker, a 6-foot-8 senior, iced the ankle. The injury was not considered serious.
Clemson finished its pre-Atlantic Coast Conference schedule with a dominant showing over the Citadel. Not that things came easily. The Tigers second-leading scorer, K.J. McDaniels, was late to a team gathering and did not start for the first time this season. The Bulldogs, who trailed Georgia Tech 20-3 early in in their last game, stuck with the Tigers the first 10 minutes.
Filer got the Tigers going after that and Clemson finished with a season-high in points.
Citadel showed the fatigue that comes from a month’s worth of away games. The Bulldogs haven’t played at home since a loss to Radford on Nov. 24 to start their on-going losing streak.
There were five losses, all on the road, in December by an average deficit of 25 points.
Once Clemson turned up its defensive pressure, The Citadel fell apart once again.
Clemson scored 25 points off 13 first-half Bulldog turnovers.
Rod 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.
Things won’t likely be this simple come Saturday when Clemson starts ACC play against Florida State.
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