(AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
During the Brad Brownell era, Clemson is almost perfect when it locks down on defense.
The 16th-ranked Tigers will need to be at their best when they face Creighton and its high-scoring offense on Wednesday in the championship of the Cayman Islands Classic.
Clemson advanced with a 64-49 win over Georgia in the semifinals and is now 40-2 under Brownell when holding an opponent under 50.
"We did a tremendous job executing our defensive plan," the Tigers' coach said after Tuesday's win. "Tremendous job. It was a great win, but we're trying to get one more. We need to finish the job, finish our mission."
The Tigers had seven blocked shots and limited the Bulldogs to 5-for-18 from 3-point range, although Clemson was even worse from deep (5-for-20).
Marquise Reed had a game-high 24 points for the Tigers. Reed also had nine rebounds, as Clemson collected 11 on the offensive end, leading to an 11-1 advantage on second-chance points.
Clemson never trailed.
Creighton (4-1) shot better than 60 percent while racing to a 52-24 halftime lead and cruised to a 93-68 win over Georgia State in the other semifinal.
The Blue Jays, who made eight 3-pointers in the first half, also forced 11 turnovers.
I thought our guys collectively did a good job on (their guards) in the first half, and that was able to get us to the lead," Creighton coach Greg McDermott said after his team's win.
"And we were able to coast from there."
Both Creighton and Clemson are led by guards.
Reed and the Blue Jays' Ty-Shon Alexander are both averaging 17 points per game.
Creighton has faced zone defenses in their first two games in the Caymans, McDermott said. He expected Wednesday's final to be a different story.
"They're going to try to punch us in the mouth tomorrow with their man-to-man," he said.
The Blue Jays arrived in the Caribbean after suffering their first loss of the season, 69-60 to Ohio State. The island air has sparked their offense.
In wins over Boise State and the Panthers, the Blue Jays have shot 56 percent from the floor while averaging 93.5 points.
Clemson held off Akron 72-69 in the first round to advance, while Creighton topped Boise State 94-82.
Updated November 21, 2018