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Dawes leads comeback against Presbyterian in opener

Caleb Browder, Photo Editor

Clemson junior guard Al-Amir Dawes (2) guards Presbyterian College junior guard Zeb Graham (5) during an in-bound play during the teams’ Nov. 9, 2021 matchup in Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, S.C. Dawes lead all scorers in the contest with 21 points.

In the opening game of the regular season, junior guard Al-Amir Dawes led Clemson men’s basketball in a second-half comeback to defeat Presbyterian 64-53.
Dawes, who finished with a team-high 21 points, scored 16 of those in the second half alone. He shot 4-8 behind the arc and led the team in minutes with 36.
It was not a flawless opening game, however, as the Tigers got off to a slow start. They entered the locker room at halftime with an eight-point deficit fueled by Presbyterian’s offensive rebounds and aggressive defense.
“Lot of credit to Presbyterian, their coaches and players. I thought they were really ready to compete, and their size, and athleticism and pressure initially probably surprised us a bit,” said head coach Brownell after the game.
“They were in full attack mode, and this time of year, it’s hard. You just don’t know what you’re playing.”
While the Tigers had their fair share of struggles in the first half, Brownell and his team rallied in the second half.
The offense was able to score 40 second-half points behind a trio of scoring from, Dawes, Hunter Tyson and David Collins.
Tyson did not have a box score that jumps off the page, but his 14 points and seven rebounds were evidence of his consistent contribution throughout the game. 
“I thought he was really poised, and I thought he played exceptionally well,” said Brownell. “He was the guy that clearly was not nervous, and comfortable and making shots in the first half and keeping us in it.”
Meanwhile, Collins opened the second half with two fast-break layups, both from feeds from guard Nick Honor. Collins would go on to score 10 of his 14 total points in the second half. 
Looking ahead, Clemson will look to improve to (2-0) when they host Wofford at 7:00 p.m.

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