CHARLESTON - Clemson always feels at home at the Charleston Classic. The Tigers proved that again in reaching the tournament finals for a third time Friday night.
Donte Grantham tied his career high with 22 points and Marcquise Reed added 16 points and a career-best nine 11 rebounds in 78-59 victory over Hofstra on Friday night.
The Tigers improved to 4-0 for the first time since the 2013-14 season, which was also their last played in the eight-team tournament here and fell to UMass in the finals. Clemson won the tournament in 2008, defeating Temple - the very same Owls it will face Sunday night with the title on the line.
Grantham, the 6-foot-8 senior, hit nine of 12 shots including three 3-pointers to help Clemson put away its Colonial Athletic Association opponent. Hofstra trailed just 30-28 on Eli Pemberton's basket with 3:22 to go in the opening half. That's when the Tigers took off on a 12-4 run the rest of the period to take a 42-32 lead into the break. Reed scored seven straight points and Grantham closed the surge with a three and a rim-rattling jam.
Hofstra (3-1) cut things to 48-42 on Pemberton's three before Reed and Grantham led another charge. Reed started with a basket, then Grantham scored five points. When Reed hit another jumper, the Tigers led 57-42 and gradually grew the lead to 20 points.
CONWAY - South Carolina men's basketball head coach Frank Martin is quick to say he has to sort out what kind of team he has after last year's surprise Final Four run.
Take Friday's 80-56 win against UTEP in the relocated Puerto Rico Tip-Off, coming a day after the Gamecocks' struggle-filled loss to Illinois State in the tournament opener.
"We probably took it for granted with such a young team that their mindset would be what last year's mindset was," Martin said. "We just kind of let them be Wednesday night. We probably should've been a little more aggressive with mental preparation with them.
"And that goes back to us continuing to try to figure out our team this year."
Chris Silva scored a team-high 15 points for South Carolina (3-1), which couldn't overcome Illinois State's zone defense nor its own cold shooting Thursday.
Kory Holden added 11 for USC.
South Carolina faces Western Michigan in today's fifth-place game.
YAS Spartans seeks support for championship trip
The Youth Athletics of Sumter Spartans Pee Wee football team is seeking financial support and sponsors from the community to play in the Pop Warner National Championship to be held Dec. 1-9 at Disney ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Fla.
The team has set up a GOFUNDME page at https://www.gofundme.com/sumter-pee-wee-road-to-disney.
The team will be having a Spartan Rally on Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. at Manning Avenue Free Studio Park located at 241 Manning Avenue. There will be food, music and a chance to win prizes such as a 55-inch Vizio D series 1080p Full Array LED television valued at $450 and a 20-quart Yeti Roadie Cooler valued at $180. Raffle tickets for the TV and cooler are currently being sold at CA Harler Trophies & Engraving LLC located at 703 Bultman Drive and by Meagan Cassidy at Destinations Spa at 1147 North Guignard Drive.
Prior to going to Orlando, the Spartans will travel to Virginia Beach, Va., to play the Cleveland Rams from Clayton, N.C., in the region championship game on Nov. 25.
Austin Cook increases lead to 3 shots at Sea Island
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook shot a 4-under 66 on Saturday to increase his lead to three strokes in the RSM Classic.
Cook, a shot ahead after a second-round 62, had five birdies and a bogey - his first of the week - to reach 18-under 194 with a round left at Sea Island Golf Club's Seaside Course.
"Putting is key right now," Cook said. "Been able to make a lot of clutch putts for the pars to save no bogeys. Hitting the ball pretty much where we're looking and giving ourselves good opportunities on every hole."
Former University of Georgia player Chris Kirk was second after a 64.
Wie in 4-way tie for lead as Park stumbles at LPGA finale
NAPLES, Fla. - Sung Hyun Park was in the palmetto bushes, near the base of the tree, in the bunkers and going nowhere in the CME Group Tour Championship.
Perhaps most surprising at the end of the day was that Park was no longer in the lead.
What looked to be a victory lap for the 24-year-old rookie from South Korea turned into a free-for-all Saturday at Tiburon Golf Club. Park at least was in solid position, one shot out of the lead, in her bid to become the first rookie since Nancy Lopez in 1978 to sweep all the major LPGA Tour awards.
She just never expected so much company.
Michelle Wie, who lost six weeks to an emergency appendectomy, had a 6-under 66 and was part of a four-way tie for the lead going into the final round. Kim Kaufman, who is recovering from mono, ran off eight birdies in her round of 64. Joining them at 10-under 206 were Ariya Jutanugarn (67) and Suzann Pettersen (69).
"Just really feeling like my old self," said Wie, who hasn't won since the 2014 U.S. Women's Open at Pinehurst No. 2. "Really feeling comfortable out there and having fun, and that's why I play my best."
Cowboys' Jerry Jones apologizes for racial remark in video
FRISCO, Texas - Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has apologized after a gossip website posted a 4-year-old video of him making a racially insensitive comment.
The Blast website reported the video was shot in 2013 at a Dallas hotel by a white man who asked Jones if he would tape a message for his fiancee. Jones appeared to be joking when he said, "Hey, Jennifer, congratulations on the wedding. Now, you know he's with a black girl tonight, don't you?"
After the video's release Friday, Jones apologized in a statement issued by the team, saying, "That comment was inappropriate. It's not who I am, and I'm sorry."
The website reported the video was shared by someone who thought it was relevant in light of players sitting or kneeling in protest during the national anthem in the NFL. Former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the protests last year to bring awareness to issues of racial inequality.
Jones has been outspoken in his view that players should stand during the anthem, at one point saying he would bench any player who disrespected the flag.
From staff and wire reports