Blossomgame leads Clemson past Wofford 66-51
GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) Clemson was busy celebrating one of the biggest athletic weekends in school history and coach Brad Brownell's basketball team wanted to be a part of it.
The Tigers did their part with a 66-51 win over Wofford behind a game-high 22 points from Jaron Blossomgame on Sunday.
Blossomgame also led the Tigers (6-2) with a game-high 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. It was his third game of at least 20 points in his last five.
''We felt a little pressure,'' Brownell said. ''With soccer winning and football winning, we felt like we needed to win to make sure everybody kept smiling all weekend. It's obviously been a great weekend for Clemson athletics.''
On Saturday, Clemson's football team won the ACC Championship and secured the No. 1 seed in the NCAA playoff system, while the Clemson men's soccer team advanced to the Final Four.
While the stakes were not as high for Clemson basketball, Brownell said a win over Wofford, which has made four NCAA Tournament appearances in the last six years, is well deserved.
''We forced them to make some tough shots, and I felt like they made some tough shots,'' Brownell said. ''But that's why they have guys like Spencer Collins and Eric Garcia. They have competitive guys who are used to winning; they're going to keep coming.''
Blossomgame was also one Tigers to record three assists as Clemson recorded 15 assists on 21 field goals.
A woeful start doomed Wofford's chances for an upset, but the Terriers (3-5) managed to cut what had been an 18-point first-half lead to 39-33 with 11:29 to play.
Midway through the first half, Wofford was 1 of 10 from the field, and the Tigers had started the game on a 20-2 run.
Garcia's 3-pointer pulled the Terriers to within six of the lead, but Blossomgame answered with one of his own to extend the Tigers' lead to 42-33 with 11:10 to play.
Blossomgame paced three Clemson players in double figures. Donte Grantham added 11 points and Avry Holmes 10 for the Tigers.
Collins led Wofford with 16 points and five assists on 4 of 15 shooting. Fletcher Magee added 10 points for the Terriers.
Clemson, which had connected on 27 3-point attempts over its past two games, was 8 of 16 from beyond the arc and 21 of 51 (41 percent) from the field.
Wofford hits 7 of 16 (44 percent) 3-point attempts, but was only 16 of 48 (33 percent) overall.
The Terriers hit their first field-goal attempt of the game - a layup in the opening seconds by Magee - and then were held scoreless for the next 11:17 as Clemson scored 20 straight.
Wofford head coach Mike Young was frustrated by his team's inability to stop Clemson early in the game.
''This is a tough man's game, and Clemson got right up under our chin and we didn't respond very well,'' Young said. ''It's very uncharacteristic of Wofford and our teams. Credit (Brownell) and his guys. We're looking for comfortable, and there's nothing comfortable at this level.
''I don't know what this team is looking for, but if it's comfort and freedom of movement, that's hard to come by at this level.''
Clemson: At 75.4 points per game head into Sunday's contest against Wofford, Clemson has upped its scoring average by 12.7 points per game from last season. The Tigers' 66 points against Wofford was their lowest scoring total in a win and second-lowest scoring output this season.
Wofford: Southern Conference member Wofford is now 3-32 against ACC competition since moving to NCAA Division I in 1995. The Terriers last defeated Clemson in 1999.
''It's no consolation. I told our team that. (Clemson) flat out jerked our heart straight out of our chest cavity from the start. We're about a lot of things, but taking consolation prizes after getting our rear end whipped is not one we're going to start patting ourselves on the back for around here.'' - Wofford head coach Mike Young on hearing that his team outscored Clemson the rest of the way after going down 20-2 in the first half.
Clemson hosts Alabama on Sunday.
Wofford hosts Coastal Carolina on Dec. 14.