- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 13, 2016

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) - Jaron Blossomgame scored a season-high 29 points to Clemson to a 93-65 victory over S.C. State on Tuesday to increase the Tigers’ win streak to five games.

The Tigers (7-2) shook off a sluggish first half and a defensive effort that wasn’t up to coach Brad Brownell’s standard to outscore the Bulldogs by 29 points in the second half.

“Really good offensive performance. Certainly the 17 assists and only two turnovers were big stats as well,” Brownell said. “We probably took too many 3s but other than that, I thought we played well (offensively) and that was the difference in the game.”

Shelton Mitchell scored 14 points and Donte Grantham added 13 for Clemson, which shot 52 percent in the first half.

The Bulldogs (2-8) shot 52 percent and got 20 points from Eric Eaves, but they lost for the seventh time in the last eight games. S.C. State stayed in the game in the first 20 minutes and trailed by nine at halftime.

“I was pleased at the half with what we were doing offensively and defensively,” S.C. State coach Murray Garvin said. “At halftime, I was positive in the locker room and looking forward to seeing what we would do in the second half.”

The Tigers held a 10-point lead four minutes into the second half before they went on 12-4 run to go up 18 after a Gabe DeVoe 3-pointer with 13:05 to play.

The Bulldogs would crawl back within 12, but another Clemson run pushed the lead to 20 after a Grantham dunk with 9:47 left in the game, and Clemson kept pouring it on offensively.

“I don’t think we defended well,” Brownell said. “Some of that is the mentality of our players.”

BIG PICTURE

S.C. State: Playing its eight game of the season away from home, S.C. State lost by at least 20 points for the fifth time already.

Clemson: The Tigers will get Elijah Thomas, a transfer from Texas A&M;, eligible for the first time this season in their next game. The 6-foot-9, 230-pound sophomore should make an immediate impact offensively and on the boards, but Brownell is concerned about his defense.

STAT OF THE NIGHT

Clemson improved to 13-1 all-time against South Carolina State. The Bulldogs’ only win over the Tigers was a 71-68 victory in 1999.

TIP-INS

Garvin said he was told this week that the Bulldogs, who had a hard time finding teams to come to their building, have the second hardest schedule in the country. Clemson center Sidy Djitte grabbed 13 rebounds, his fourth game this season in double digits. Clemson scored in the 90s for the second consecutive game and third time this season.

UP NEXT

S.C. State will play just its fourth game in the state of South Carolina when it heads to Furman on Friday at 7 p.m.

Clemson takes on Alabama in a neutral site game in Birmingham, Ala., on Sunday at 4 p.m. in the Tigers’ first of back-to-back contests against SEC foes.

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