GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands (AP) - Shelton Mitchell scored 22 points with four steals, Elijah Thomas had 15 points and 12 rebounds and No. 16 Clemson beat Akron 72-69 on Monday in the first game of the Cayman Islands Classic.
Marcquise Reed added 16 points for Clemson (4-0), which returns four starters from last season's Sweet 16 game. Sophomore Aamir Simms added 12 points to reach double figures for the fourth straight game after doing it just three times last season. Mitchell was 9 of 13 from the free-throw line compared to Akron's 15 attempts, and Thomas secured his 12th career double-double with 4:08 to play.
Mitchell had 10 points in the first half as Clemson led for 18 of the 20 minutes. He made two free throws with 40 seconds left for a 70-59 lead, and Akron's Daniel Utomi capped it with a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Loren Cristian Jackson made five 3-pointers and scored 25 points for Akron (3-1). Utomi had 13 points, eight rebounds and three assists, and Tyler Cheese also scored 13. Eleven of Akron's 23 baskets came from 3-point range.
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