WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Veteran guard Shelton Mitchell sparked a late surge to propel 22nd-ranked Clemson past UNCW, 78-67, in the first men’s basketball exhibition game of the season for both teams on Saturday at Trask Coliseum.
10/27/2018 Men’s Basketball Vs. Clemson Men’s Basketball Vs. Clemson
The Seahawks and Tigers were playing to support relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Florence and raised $25,000 each for the Good Shepherd Center and the UNCW Campus Emergency Fund.
Coach C.B. McGrath’s club plays its final tune-up of the preseason on Friday, Nov. 2, when William Peace visits the Port City for a 7 p.m. tip. Clemson entertains Barton on Thursday, Nov. 1, for its second exhibition contest.
In Saturday’s game, the Seahawks jumped out to a 46-38 advantage at intermission before the Tigers opened the second half by scoring the first nine points and later broke away with a 10-0 spurt midway through the period.
Mitchell, Clemson’s second leading scorer last season, was the catalyst for the Tigers, bucketing 10 of his 19 points in the final 20 minutes. Sophomore forward Aamir Simms anchored three Clemson players in double figures with 20 points, followed by Mitchell and backcourt mate Marcquise Reed with 19 apiece.
Senior guard Ty Taylor was high man for the Seahawks with 17 points and sophomore guard Jaylen Fornes had 15 – all in the first half.
The loss snapped a 29-game winning streak in exhibition games for the Seahawks, who had not lost a preseason game since Oct. 31, 1999. UNCW is now 46-6 overall since exhibition games on record were started in 1985.
WELCOME BACK: The game marked the return of former Seahawk head coach Brad Brownell, who guided UNCW to a pair of CAA titles in 2003 and 2006. He enters his ninth season with the Tigers and wound up second last year in the ACC’s Coach-of-the-Year balloting.
KEY MOMENT: Trailing 60-56, down the stretch the Tigers scored 10 unanswered points and Simms gave Clemson the lead for good with a pair of free throws with 6:36 showing.
THE CACOK NUMBERS: UNCW First-Team All-CAA performer Devontae Cacok, who recorded 22 double-doubles one year ago, finished with six points and eight rebounds. He only played 26:50 of the contest, however.
RUSTY PLAY: The two teams combined for 38 turnovers in the contest: UNCW (21), Clemson (17).
DOWN THE STRETCH: Shooting 51.9 percent in the second half, Clemson outscored UNCW, 40-21, in the final 20 minutes and pulled away late.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS: The contest was the earliest exhibition game on record for the Seahawks.
QUOTABLE: “First and foremost, I want to thank the fans for coming out. It was a great deal for charity. Coach Brownell and I learned a lot about our teams today. We played a 40-minute competitive game and you can’t replicate that in practice.” – UNCW Head Coach C.B. McGrath