Blossomgame leads Clemson past High Point 62-59
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Jaron Blossomgame scored all 14 of his points in the second half and blocked a potential tying basket in the final minute of Clemson’s 62-59 victory over High Point on Friday night.
The Tigers (4-2) led by 12 points in the first half and were still ahead 51-42 on Damarcus Harrison’s basket with 9:04 left. But the Panthers (4-2) outscored Clemson 17-9 down the stretch to draw within 60-59 on Devante Wallace’s 3-pointer with 11.6 seconds left.
Harrison, though, followed with two free throws and Clemson held on to win its third straight game.
Wallace let a 3-pointer fly at the buzzer that was off the mark.
John Brown led all scorers with 26 points for High Point.
Blossomgame also added 13 rebounds for his first double-double since Clemson beat Duke last January. Landry Nnoko gave the Tigers two players with double-doubles, finishing with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Blossomgame was 0-for-5 in the opening half, but rebounded by going 4-of-6 from the field and making six of seven foul shots to tie his career high. He also blocked Brian Richardson’s layup with 38 seconds to go and High Point down 58-56.
Clemson was back at home after an eventful trip to the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands. The Tigers were beaten by Gardner-Webb 72-70 in part when freshman Donte Grantham called a time out the team did not have in the final seconds, leading to the Bulldogs making two foul shots that put them up for good.
Clemson bounced back in its two other tournament games, topping Nevada 59-51 before rallying past LSU in the final four minutes for a 64-61 victory.
The Tigers two losses this season have come to Winthrop and Gardner-Webb, both Big South Conference members. So they made sure to turn up their defense — they were second in the Atlantic Coast Conference in that category last season — when facing High Point, also of the Big South.
The Panthers missed their first nine shots and fell behind 19-7 after Patrick Rooks’ second 3-pointer of the half.
Brown’s two straight backs drew High Point within 21-13. But Damarcus Harrison hit a 3-pointer and Sidy Djitte finished a layup off a sharp bullet pass from Jordan Roper to send Clemson to the locker room up 26-16.
The Tigers played all but two minutes without senior point guard Rod Hall, who appeared to twist an ankle early and came off the floor.
High Point: The Panthers started 4-1 for the first time since their inaugural Division I season of 1999-00. They won their next game, then went 6-16 the rest of the way.
Clemson: The 16 first-half points given up by the Tigers were their fewest since holding Stetson to 15 in the opening game of the 2013-14 season.
High Point plays at UNC Greensboro on Monday night.
Clemson plays host to Rutgers on Monday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.