Smith sparks Tigers past Salukis

Clemson’s Bryan Narcisse (left) and Rod Hall pressure Southern Illinois guard Jeff Early. Hall finished with 18 points.

HONOLULU -- In a way, Clemson coach Brad Brownell hated to win this one.

Led by Tanner Smith's 26-point performance, Clemson held off Southern Illinois 83-75 in overtime of a consolation semifinal of the Diamond Head Classic Friday.

Salukis coach Chris Lowery and Brownell were high school teammates in Evansville, Ind.

"You never like doing something like that," Brownell said of defeating his long-time friend. "I felt awful after the game. You hate to beat a friend that way. He would have felt the same way had they won."

Smith scored 10 points, including 7 of 8 from the free-throw line, in overtime. Rod Hall scored 18 points, Devin Booker scored 16 and Andre Young had 11 points for Clemson (7-6).

"He's one of our senior captains, we knew he had to play well," Brownell said of Smith. "He has played spirited the whole year."

The Tigers made 15 of 17 free throws in overtime. Smith's three-point play with 1:59 left in the extra period put Clemson ahead to stay.

"I got a couple shots to fall and got to the free-throw line," said Smith, who scored 24 of his 26 points after halftime. "I got into a little rhythm. The first half I wasn't in rhythm."

Southern Illinois (3-7) led 62-59 with 11.3 seconds to play in regulation following Davante Drinkard's free throw, but Clemson's Hall made a driving layup with 3.8 seconds left and was fouled. He made the free throw to make it 62-62.

Mamadou Seck had a chance to win it for SIU in regulation, but his 3-point try as time expired was no good.

"We had a chance to win it," Seck said. "We were up by eight and they came back."

Seck had a team-high 18 points, Justin Bocot scored 12 of his 15 in the first half and Dantiel Daniels and Jeff Early scored 11 apiece for the Salukis.

The Tigers opened the game on a 7-0 run, but went without a field goal in the final 13:36 of the first half and Southern Illinois led 31-24 at halftime.

"We did better of making some plays when we needed to. It's something we've struggled with all year," Brownell said. "Today we found a way to get to the basket. It was a nice confidence-builder for our guys."

Smith was 8 of 16 from the field and made 8 of 9 free throws. Bryan Narcisse grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds and Booker added eight boards while shooting 7 of 9 on field goals for the Tigers.

Southern Illinois, which led by as many as nine early in the second half, will play in the seventh-place game Sunday. Clemson rebounded from a first-round loss to UTEP and will play for fifth place.

3-Point Goals -- Clemson 5-15 (Smith 2-5, Hall 1-1, Narcisse 1-2, Young 1-6, Sapp 0-1); S. Illinois 8-18 (Bocot 4-8, Brown-Scurles 2-4, Swan 1-1, Early 1-2, Lindsay 0-1, Setty 0-1, Seck 0-1). Steals -- Clemson 6 (Smith 3); S. Illinois 9 (Early 2, Goff 2). Blocks -- Clemson 1 (Jennings); S. Illinois 4 (Drinkard 3). Turnovers -- Clemson 15 (Hall 4); S. Illinois 16 (Brown-Surles 3, Seck 3, Early 3, Daniels).