Graduate guard Marcquise Reed scored 20 points to lead six players in double figures as No. 22 Clemson coasted past The Citadel for a 100-80 win in the season opener for both teams Tuesday night at Clemson’s Littlejohn Coliseum.
The Tigers, who begin the season ranked for the first time since the 2009-10 campaign, also got 16 points apiece from Shelton Mitchell and Aamir Simms en route to winning their season opener for a 34th consecutive year.
Clemson leads the all-time series against its in-state rival 61-22 and has won 16 straight meetings.
Reed, a 6-foot-3, 188-pounder in his third season at Clemson after transferring from Robert Morris, made 7 of 13 shots from the floor and grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds. It was the third career double-double for Reed, who was a second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection last season.
Simms, a sophomore forward, made 7 of 8 shots from the floor en route to his career high while Mitchell went 4 for 7 from 3-point range.
Senior forward Elijah Thomas, who was questionable with an ankle injury, added 15 points for the Tigers while sophomore guard Clyde Trapp had a career-high 13 points and graduate forward David Skara added 11 points.
Clemson shot 55.7 percent from the floor and outrebounded the smaller Bulldogs 37-23.
Graduate guard Lew Stallworth led the Bulldogs with 15 points while senior guard Matt Frierson added 12. Senior forward Zane Najdawi and junior swingman Kaelon Harris scored 11 apiece.
The Citadel kept the game close early and tied the score at 21 on a 3-pointer by Frierson with 12:21 left in the first half. But Clemson made seven of its last nine shots from the floor, including six in a row at one point, to take a 49-40 lead at the half.
Clemson is coming off a 25-10 season that saw the Tigers win a school-record 11 ACC games and finish third in the league standings despite being projected for a 13th-place finish. The Tigers advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since Coach Brad Brownell’s first season and advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1997.
—Field Level Media