Clemson Wins Its Season Opener

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CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) - Donte Grantham scored 14 points and grabbed five rebounds to lead Clemson to an 85-57 victory over Western Carolina in both teams' season opener Friday night.
    
The Tigers shot 50 percent from the field and held the Catamounts to 39 percent shooting while outrebounding the visitors 39-32.
    
Elijah Thomas came off the bench to record 11 points while starter Gabe DeVoe also reached that mark.
    
Coming off a season of seemingly countless close losses, Clemson made sure there was nothing to sweat in the first game to begin 2017-18.
    
The Tigers led 22-19 with 8:56 left to play in the first half, but they closed with a 22-2 run over the final 6:59 of the half to take a 44-22 lead into the locker room.
    
Haboubacar Mutombo, nephew of former NBA center Dikembe Mutombo, led Western Carolina with 10 points.
    
The Catamounts recorded 20 turnovers, which Clemson turned into 20 points. The Tigers also got 38 points from their bench.
    
BIG PICTURE
    
Western Carolina: The Catamounts, who were picked to finish ninth in the Southern Conference, have lost 28 of their last 37 road openers.
    
Clemson: The Tigers got off to a solid start defensively, despite not having junior forward David Skara, whom coach Brad Brownell called the team's best defender in the preseason. The Valparaiso transfer is suspended for the first nine games this season for violating an undisclosed NCAA rule at his previous school.
    
UP NEXT
    
Western Carolina takes on Hiwassee in the Catamounts' home opener.
    
Clemson gets another home game Sunday against North Carolina A&T before playing in next week's Gildan Charleston Classic.

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