Senior guard Shelton Mitchell scored 20 points to lead four Clemson players in double figures as the Tigers held off Radford 74-66 on Saturday in a non-conference game at Clemson’s Littlejohn Coliseum.
Clemson, playing a second straight game without leading scorer Marcquise Reed, struggled to put away the pesky Highlanders of the Big South Conference, who already own victories against Notre Dame and Texas this season.
The game was tied at 58 with 5:04 remaining, but sparked by senior forward Elijah Thomas and sophomore guard Clyde Trapp, the Tigers outscored Radford 16-8 the rest of the way to improve to 7-3.
After a 6-1 start, the Highlanders have lost three in a row to slip to 6-4.
Clemson’s Reed has been sidelined since suffering a knee injury late in the Tigers’ win against Saint Peter’s on Dec. 4. A preseason second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference pick, Reed is the Tigers’ top scorer at 19.4 points per game and second-leading rebounder at 5.9 per game.
His status remains questionable for the Tigers’ next game against Charleston Southern on Tuesday.
Clemson led Radford 31-30 at halftime and scored the first basket of the second half before the Highlanders went on an 10-0 run for a 40-33 advantage with 15:29 remaining.
But the Tigers countered with an 8-0 run to pull within one and the game remained close until Clemson finally took command in the final five minutes.
Thomas, who scored 15 points, and Trapp, who added 11, combined for 11 of Clemson’s final 16 points in the last five minutes.
Graduate forward David Skara chipped in with 16 points — one shy of his career high — for the Tigers.
The victory was No. 155 for Clemson head coach Brad Brownell with the Tigers, matching Bill Foster for second place on Clemson’s all-time coaching victory list.
Radford was led by sophomore guard Carlik Jones, who scored 18 points, and senior forward Ed Polite Jr., who had 16. The Highlanders kept the game close by making 9 of 16 (56.3 percent) three-point shots.
—Field Level Media