Clemson Defeats N.C. State 78-62
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) - Marcquise Reed scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half as Clemson won its eighth straight game and opened Atlantic Coast Conference play with a 78-62 victory over North Carolina State on Saturday.
The Tigers improved to 12-1, continuing their best start in eight seasons under coach Brad Brownell - and since opening 16-0 in 2008-09.
And Clemson did it with defense, overcoming sluggish early shooting and a strong start by the Wolfpack (10-4, 0-1) to take control.
North Carolina State took its biggest lead, 16-10, on Torin Dorn's jumper with 9:18 to go. That's when the Tigers closed the half with a 23-8 surge to move in front for good. Grantham got the run started with a 3-pointer and closed it by collecting Gabe DeVoe's missed shot and throwing up a shot just before the buzzer sounded to put Clemson ahead 33-24.
The Wolfpack had problems with Clemson's defense in the critical stretch, going 1 of 10 from the field with three of their seven first-half turnovers.
North Carolina State cut an 11-point lead to six on Braxton Beverly's jumper and 3-pointer early in the second half. But the Tigers gradually stretched the lead out to 19 points to stay comfortably ahead the rest of the way.
Gabe DeVoe added 15 points for the Tigers, who finished with five players in double figures. Elijah Thomas had 10 points and 10 rebounds, his fourth double-double of the season.
Beverly had 15 points to lead the Wolfpack. Allerik Freeman, the team's leading scorer coming in, had 14 points on 5-of-19 shooting.
North Carolina State: The Wolfpack were coming off a record-setting show with a 116-64 blowout of Jacksonville to end pre-ACC play. They followed that with their second-fewest first-half points this season, notching one more than the 23 scored in a loss to Tennessee on Nov. 24. North Carolina State will have to find its offense if it hopes to stay competitive in the league this season.
Clemson: The Tigers have prided themselves on defense for most of coach Brad Brownell's eight seasons, yet struggled at that most of the time in ACC play last season and finished ninth in the league in total defense. Clemson entered conference play third among ACC teams behind Virginia and Miami and played to that level by holding the Wolfpack to 34.8 percent shooting (23 of 66), their second-poorest showing of the season.
North Carolina State heads to Notre Dame on Wednesday night.
Clemson travels to Boston College on Wednesday night.