Al-Amir Dawes scored 21 points, including 16 in the second half, as host Clemson rallied for a 64-53 victory against Presbyterian on Tuesday night in the season opener for both teams.
Dawes made 7 of 16 shots from the floor, including 4 of 9 from 3-point range, as the Tigers defeated the in-state rival Blue Hose of the Big South Conference for a 10th consecutive time.
Clemson, which was picked to finish 11th in the Atlantic Coast Conference preseason poll, is coming off a 16-6 (10-6 ACC) regular-season mark in 2020-21 that tied for fifth place in the league standings after being tabbed for a 10th-place finish.
Clemson returns four of its top six scorers from last year’s NCAA Tournament team, including Dawes, a junior guard who sparked a decisive 18-2 Clemson run midway through the second half.
The Tigers made just four of their first 15 shots from the floor and trailed Presbyterian 21-13 with 5:58 left in the first half. The Blue Hose maintained that eight-point bulge at the half, 32-24.
Presbyterian led 44-43 with 11:54 left in the game, but Dawes hit back-to-back 3-pointers to jump start the 18-2 run that provided Clemson with a 15-point cushion, 61-46, with 4:44 left.
Hunter Tyson added 14 points for the Tigers, as did David Collins, a graduate transfer from South Florida who led the Bulls in scoring last season.
Clemson shot 46.7 percent from the floor (21 of 45) and 42.1 percent (8 of 19) from 3-point range.
Presbyterian got 12 points from preseason All-Big South first-team pick Rayshon Harrison, who struggled from the floor, making 3 of 16 shots, including 0 of 8 from beyond the arc. Brandon Younger added 12 points for the Blue Hose.
Presbyterian outrebounded Clemson 38-32, but shot just 35.6 percent from the floor, including 12.5 percent from 3-point range.
–Field Level Media