The Phoenix (3-9) had only beaten NCAA Division III Guilford and
Southeastern College of Lakeland, Fla., a member of the National
Christian College Athletic Association.
But Elon of the Southern Conference finished with five players
in double figures at Littlejohn Coliseum to end a four-game losing
The Tigers (11-2) had started 11-0 and won the San Juan Shootout
last week. But their fast start ended Wednesday night with a 72-69
loss to Georgia.
Elon was supposed to be Clemson's final tuneup before it opened
the Atlantic Coast Conference season against Florida State next
Wednesday. Instead, the Phoenix showed Clemson's got more work
Elon trailed 36-35 at the half, but built a five-point lead to
start the second period.
Clemson tied things at 49-all with 11:43 left and eventually led
52-51. But the Phoenix grabbed the lead for good on Brian Waters'
3-pointer at the 9:51 mark.
After that, Elon gradually pulled away as Clemson struggled from
the floor. The Phoenix went on a 15-5 run the next six minutes to
lead 69-57 with 3:07 to go.
The Tigers were only 1 of 13 from the field during that stretch.
Sam Perry had five straight points and Vernon Hamilton two foul
shots as Clemson cut the lead to 69-64 with 1:17 left. But a field
goal by Waters and two free throws by Watson sealed the upset for
Elon made 26 of 50 field goals (52 percent) and was 7 of 14 from
behind the arc.
The Phoenix showed their mettle early on, using a 13-2
first-half run to lead 19-10.
Hamilton led Clemson with 13 points, while Akin Akingbala had 12
and eight rebounds.