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

half.

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

Carolina.

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 Chanticleers.

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

turned out.

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.