The No. 16 ranked Clemson Tigers edged the Akron Zips 72-69 Monday (19 November) to open the 2nd Annual Cayman Islands Classic NCAA Division One basketball tournament.
Point Guard Shelton Mitchell led the way for the Tigers with a season-high 22 points, while Zips sophomore Loren Cristian Jackson scored a game-high 25 points.
“Akron did some nice things down the stretch, had a couple of big threes that changed the momentum of the game after we had a 15-point lead,” said Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownell.
Akron Head Coach John Groce said the Ohio-based Mid-American Conference school of 20,500 is fortunate to compete in a preseason game of this magnitude.
“The hospitality, the event, the quality of teams, the great officials, this is a high-level deal. For us to be challenged in that way, this time of year, it’s a major thing for our programme, our team and our kids, so we are thankful for that.”
Clemson will face the Georgia Tuesday (20 November) starting at 1:30 pm after the Bulldogs edged the Illinois State Redbirds 80-68. Georgia was led by sophomore Rayshaun Hammonds who scored a game-high 31 points with 7 rebounds and 2 assists. In the loss, Redbirds senior Milik Yarbrough scored 20 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists.
In the evening finale, a strong Bluejays fan base powered Creighton to a 94-82 win over the Boise State Broncos. Bluejays guard Ty-Shon Alexander led the way with 18 points and 3 assists, while Broncos junior RJ Williams scored a game-high 28 points along with 9 rebounds and 3 steals.
The win pits Creighton against the Georgia State in the tournament’s second semifinal starting 7:30 pm Tuesday evening after the Panthers topped St. Bonaventure 75-65. Panthers junior D’Marcus Simonds scored a game-high 25 points along with 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.
Here’s a look at the entire schedule for day two of the Cayman Islands Classic:
11:00 am: Akron vs Illinois State
1:30 pm (winner’s bracket): Clemson vs Georgia
5:00 pm: St. Bonaventure vs Boise State
7:30 pm (winner’s bracket): Creighton vs Georgia State