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Clemson struggles but pulls out home win over SCSU

Clemson, SC (Sports Network) - Noel Johnson and Demontez Stitt each scored 13 points, as 21st-ranked Clemson held on to beat South Carolina State, 70-67, at Littlejohn Coliseum.

Trevor Booker added 12 points and eight rebounds for the Tigers (12-2), who pulled out their sixth consecutive win despite shooting just 14-of-24 from the free throw line.

"I take responsibility for the way our team played," Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell said. "Our guys weren't prepared enough. I think we had our guys looking forward to closing [the non-conference schedule] out. But give South Carolina State all the credit in the world."

Clemson made 49 percent of its field goal attempts, but South Carolina State (6-4) shot 50 percent in nearly taking the victory. Darnell Porter had 19 points for the Bulldogs, while Jason Flagler added 16 points and Arsenio Williams 12 in the loss.

"When I looked at the stats I thought we accomplished what we wanted," Bulldogs head coach Tim Carter said. "We out-rebounded them and made about the same field goal percentage. The ball game was won on the free throw line. We made it an interesting game and I am proud of our guys."

Devin Booker's jumper with 11 1/2 minutes left in the game put Clemson ahead 60-51, but Tyvon Williams followed with a jumper and Carrio Bennett drained a three to trim the Bulldogs' deficit to four.

The game remained tight down the stretch, and just inside the final minute, Khalif Toombs hit a three and Tyvon Williams deposited a layup after Clemson's Andre Young missed a free throw. That brought the Bulldogs within 68-67 with half a minute to go, but after another missed Tigers foul shot, Booker stole the ball to get the possession back.

Stitt sank two from the line to make it a three-point game, and though Booker missed two free throws moments later, Flagler missed a potential game-tying three at the buzzer.

Milton Jennings' tip-in with 11 minutes left in the first half opened up a 20-8 lead for Clemson. South Carolina State used three consecutive baskets to draw within 32-27 later in the half, but Clemson scored seven of the period's final eight points to take a 41-30 edge into the break.

The teams traded points to begin the second half, and Johnson's layup nearly five minutes in made it a 51-42 game.

Game Notes

The Bulldogs made 8-of-9 free throws and 7-of-15 from beyond the arc...Clemson had 16 turnovers, though SC State had 23.

12/30 03:46:46 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
 
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
4th
BST 32
AKR 21
 
4th
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
 
4th
TOL 35
UMASS 35
 
4th
WMICH 42
OHIO 14
 
4th
COL 28
UCLA 31
 
4th
UMO 10
KSU 3
 
3rd
WAKE 0
BC 17
 
3rd
BUF 7
CMICH 14
 
Half
MARS 14
FATL 16
 
Half
PITT 14
GT 28
 
Half
SMISS 7
LATU 3
 
Half
MSU 14
MICH 3
 
Half
KENT 10
MSST 17
 
Half
STAN 28
ORST 7
 
2nd
TCU 34
TTU 20
 
Half
OKST 10
WVU 14
 
2nd
WKENT 35
ODU 23
 
2nd
UTST 17
UNLV 7
 
2nd
MIZZ 10
VANDY 0
 
1st
UCF 10
TEMPL 0
 
6:00pm Tonight
WASU
ARZ
7:00pm Tonight
CLEM
SYR
7:00pm Tonight
LAMON
TXST
7:00pm Tonight
TXSANANTO
UTEP
7:00pm Tonight
COLST
WYO
7:15pm Tonight
LSU
MISS
7:30pm Tonight
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ALA
7:30pm Tonight
AUB
SCAR
8:00pm Tonight
PSU
OSU
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
2nd
SJS 0
BUF 0
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
BOS
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
DET
7:00pm Tonight
OTT
NJD
7:00pm Tonight
MON
NYR
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CHI
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
PIT
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
TAM
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
FLA
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14