Clemson basketball started the season off on the right foot defeating The Citadel 80-69 in the season opener Monday night in Littlejohn Coliseum.
The Tigers took control in the last five minutes of the first half, going on a 23-5 run after trailing 26-22.
Chase Hunter scored 19 first-half points to lead Clemson and finished the game with a team-leading 23.
Hunter Tyson chipped in 19 points and 13 rebounds, but perhaps the biggest surprise was the play of Ian Schieffelin, who came off the bench to score 20 points and grab 14 rebounds, 9 of them on the offensive end.
Clemson had multiple opportunities to put the game away in the second half, but opted to shoot questionable three-pointers on a couple of occasions which allowed the Bulldogs to hang around longer than necessary.
The Tigers shot 46.2% from the field, including 31.8% from three-point range while hitting 72.2% from the line.
Clemson dominated the boards, 42-30 and committed only 8 turnovers on the evening.
While the win was nice there were a few obvious issues that could plague this team going forward.
In their season-opening win Clemson basketball showed improvement in some areas, but concern in others
First, the team is very small without P.J. Hall in the lineup. This wasn’t much of an issue against a Southern Conference team such as The Citadel, but it’ll become obvious as the Tigers play Power 5 teams and even mid-majors. The guards are bigger, but without Hall this team is likely to get killed on the boards.
Secondly, no other bench player besides Schieffelin scored. Granted the other three that played were freshmen, but in the preseason we were led to believe that Josh Beadle was going to be the point guard for this team and while I don’t want to make a season of one game, that was not the case in game one.
Beadle finished the game playing just over 12 minutes and was 0-3 from the field with a rebound and 3 personal fouls.
Next up for the Tigers is a road trip to Columbia to face the South Carolina Gamecocks on Friday evening at Colonial Life Arena at 7:00 p.m.