Clemson shook off Akron in the final minutes Monday and opened the 2018 Cayman Islands Classic with a 72-69 victory in a mid-morning tipoff.
Clemson had four players score in double figures, led by senior guard Shelton Mitchell with 22 points.
The Tigers (4-0) used a 7-0 run to create distance and a final rally from the Zips (3-1) fell short.
Loren Cristian Jackson hit a 3-pointer to pull Akron within four, 63-59, with 2:58 left in the game, before Akron hit snooze on the offensive end. Clemson kept Akron off the board for the next 2:31.
Jackson had a game-high 25 points on 7-of-17 shooting, including 5 of 12 from 3-point range.
Marcquise Reed added 16 points for Clemson.
Akron stayed on the heels of the Tigers most of the first half before a closing run left Clemson with a 31-24 lead.
—Field Level Media