Clemson puts clamps on Ragin ‘Cajuns, 89-60

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CLEMSON, S.C. – Donte Grantham recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds and Clemson held the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns to season-lows in both points and field goal percentage in claiming an 89-60 win in the non-conference finale for both teams on Friday at Littlejohn Coliseum.

Sheldon Mitchell and Elijah Thomas scored 15 points each with David Skara adding 11 as Clemson (11-1) held Louisiana (10-3) to 16-for-57 (28.1 percent) from the floor while not allowing a field goal over the final 7:49.

“Give Clemson credit, they’re an NCAA Tournament team,” head coach Bob Marlin said. “They outplayed in every phase of the game. They’re bigger than we are, they’re stronger than we are and they shoot the ball better than we did today.

“We can’t give up 57 percent (shooting) and shoot 28 and expect to win, especially against a team like Clemson. Give their team some credit. I’m proud of our team for our performance from the free throw line, that was something that we could control. We did a good job on turnovers and had seven steals. But we had trouble scoring over their bigger players, inside and outside, and it hurt us today.”

Clemson led 37-28 with 1:11 remaining in the first half after Louisiana’s Marcus Stroman buried a 3-pointer before closing out the half with 3-pointers by Grantham and Skara for a 43-28 lead at halftime.

Louisiana trailed 7-2 early in the first half before a pair of free throws and a bucket by Bartley and a follow-up dunk by JaKeenan Gant gave the Ragin’ Cajuns an 8-7 lead at the 16:53 mark. Grantham, who became the 39th player in Clemson history to reach the 1,000-point mark in career scoring, gave the Tigers the lead for good at 10-8 with a three-point play with 15:58 remaining.

A 3-pointer by freshman Cedric Russell cut the Clemson lead to 70-56 with 7:49 remaining, but the Ragin’ Cajuns missed their final 13 shots from the floor as the Tigers pulled away.

Stroman, playing in his home state for the first time since transferring from South Carolina, scored a career-high 16 points for Louisiana, including an 11-for-12 performance from the free throw line. Frank Bartley scored all 14 of his points in the first half for Louisiana and pulled down a team-high six rebounds.

The Ragin’ Cajuns finished 22-for-23 from the free throw line as Bartley finished 7-for-7 with Justin Miller and Larenz Stalcup each converting on a pair from the charity stripe.

Louisiana will open Sun Belt Conference play on Dec. 29 when it travels to face Little Rock at Jack Stephens Center.

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