NICEVILLE, FLA. — Clemson shot a season-high 53.5 percent from the floor en route to beating Cal, 67-59, in the third-place game of the Emerald Coast Classic tournament Saturday afternoon at Northwest Florida State College.
Chase Hunter and Tyson Hunter led the hot shooting Tigers with 14 points apiece. Chase Hunter had seven assists, three three-point baskets and two steals.
“It was great,” said Clemson coach Brad Brownell, whose team improved to 5-2. “It’s a really good tournament. We have enjoyed our time here and we have been treated well. There is good competition with a bunch of Power-5 teams here, with Iowa being a top-25 team, TCU and Cal from the Big 12 and PAC-12.
“So, it’s great to get tested by teams like that this time of the year to see what you are doing well and what you need a little work on. We certainly found out a little bit of both during this trip.”
After Cal climbed within 31-30 following a basket by Joel Brown with 19:34 left, Clemson reeled off 16 straight points to erect a 46-30 lead with Tyson Hunter (five) and Chase Hunter (eight) combining for 13 points in the spree.
The pair combined for five of the Tigers’ seven 3-pointers. Brevin Galloway added 13 points and PJ Hall had 10 for Clemson.
Devin Askew led Cal with 18 points while Lars Thiemann added 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting to go along with five rebounds and three blocks. Kuany Kuany chipped in 11 points, scoring in double figures for the first time in four games.
Cal cut the deficit to 63-57 with 30 seconds left on a fast-break layup by Askew, but didn’t get closer.
The Bears’ free-throw shooting kept them close, by making 18 of 20 attempts at the charity stripe with Kuany (7 of 8) and Askew (6 of 7) highlighting the effort. Cal shot just 39.6 percent (19 of 48) from the floor and 15 percent (3 of 20) from deep in the loss.
Chase Hunter and Thiermann were selected to the all-tournament team.