Clemson 59, Furman 49
Milton Jennings had career highs with 22 points and 14 rebounds
as Clemson broke a two-game losing streak with a 59-49 victory over
Furman on Friday night.
The Tigers (3-2) had lost twice to instate, mid-major programs
at Littlejohn Coliseum in the past week and fell behind the
Paladins 9-0 in this one. But the 6-foot-9 Jennings used his size
and agility to help Clemson overtake Furman (3-2) in the second
Jennings’ inside basket opened the second half and gave the
Tigers their first lead of the game, 26-24. Andre Young’s 3-pointer
two minutes later put Clemson ahead for good at 31-28.
Young added 15 points for Clemson. Jennings surpassed his
previous best of 16 points, last set in March against North
Bryant Irwin scored 13 points to lead Furman.
Jennings had the first basket of the second half to put Clemson
in front for the first time all game. Two minutes later, Andre
Young’s 3-pointer from the right of the circle broke a 28-all tie
and gave the Tigers the lead for good.
Clemson led 46-37 on Devin Booker’s jam when the Paladins made
one last charge, drawing within 46-42 on Charlie Reddick’s two foul
shots. But Young and Booker followed with three foul shots to
rebuild the margin and Furman couldn’t get any closer than six
points after that.
Furman’s leading scorer coming in at 10.8 points a game, senior
Brandon Sebirumbi, was held to three field goals and fouled out
with 4:45 remaining in the game.
The Paladins had lost 27 straight to Clemson since its last
series win in 1978, but this seemed like the perfect time to bag
the reeling Tigers. Clemson had lost consecutive heartbreakers to
instate rivals in the past week, falling 72-69 to College of
Charleston, then 60-59 to Coastal Carolina in the return to
Littlejohn Coliseum of former Tigers coach Cliff Ellis, now leading
The Paladins picked right up where those clubs left off, opening
with a 9-0 lead and stunning most of the few thousand fans who
Clemson was still down 22-14 on Charlie Reddick’s 3-pointer with
6:49 left in the period. That’s when the Tigers closed with a 10-2
run to tie things at the break.
Jennings had eight of his 12 first-half points, including the
tying basket with 35.5 seconds left off a nifty pass in the lane
from T.J. Sapp.
Furman held Clemson to 9-of-24 shooting in the first half and
held its own on the glass with the taller, stronger Tigers as both
teams finished the period with 13 rebounds.
Among the Thanksgiving weekend crowd was ex-New York Yankees
great, Paul O’Neill, a backbone of four World Series champions.
O’Neill, in a crisp purple dress shirt, was on hand to watch son,
Aaron, who’s a freshman guard for the Paladins.