Junior guard Marcquise Reed had 18 points, six rebounds and five assists, and Clemson unleashed a decisive 11-2 run at the end of the first half to defeat North Carolina State 78-62 on Saturday in the ACC opener for both teams in Clemson, S.C.
Junior forward Elijah Thomas added 10 points and 10 rebounds, and senior guard Gabe DeVoe contributed 15 points and seven rebounds as the Tigers (12-1) won their eighth straight game and continued their best start since the 2008-09 team began 16-0.
Senior forward Donte Grantham recorded 13 points and nine rebounds, and junior guard Shelton Mitchell scored 14 points for Clemson, which outscored the Wolfpack 42-22 in the paint.
Freshman guard Braxton Beverly scored 15 points for NC State (10-4), which shot 34.1 percent from the field.
The Wolfpack made a school-record 19 3-pointers on 38 attempts in a 116-64 victory over Jacksonville on Dec. 22, but went 5-for-22 from beyond the arc Saturday.
The first half featured seven ties before Reed’s 3-pointer gave the Tigers the lead for good, 25-22 with 3:37 left in the period. NC State went the final 6:01 without a field goal, missing its final seven shots from the field.
Sophomore center Omer Yurtseven made consecutive baskets to get the Wolfpack within 43-37 with 15:19 to play, but that’s as close as they got. Grantham scored four straight points, and a pair of free throws by Reed with 11:36 left made it 56-41.
Clemson took a 62-43 lead with 8:28 remaining on a play that began with a nifty behind-the-back pass by Grantham and ended with Reed’s layup on an assist from DeVoe.