March 8, 2001
Recap| Box Score
Clemson head coach Larry Shyatt: “We enjoyed the victory as they’ve been far and few. I really enjoyed Tony’s shot that he made against North Carolina and the one that he almost made tonight. I’m very proud of these guys. I hate myself if I say I’m proud of them after we win because they’ve been scarce, and I’ve said that after many losses this year. I am proud of them because their effort has been consistent. When you have three freshmen, four sophomores and Will Solomon, you learn to fight in this league. We’re very much looking forward to tomorrow, and I think we’ll play hard.
“I thought they [the three games with FSU] were very similar. At Florida State we ended in a tie and then it was a wild overtime. At Clemson it was also a low scoring game. All of them seemingly getting tighter and tighter. We know we dodged a bullet with Mike Mathews out, but then again, we were Allenspach-less so both of us were missing a large ingredient.
“I repeated to the players at halftime, Guys, we have to continue to push it, but we can’t do that unless we get stops and boards. That’s the best I’ve seen Ed Scott take it coast-to-coast and make some dishes, and then these two guys brought it home on a couple of fastbreaks. I think quite honestly, we were very inefficient scoring in the halfcourt, but we were pretty good in the open court.
“Early in the game we thought Joiner was the difference. He was getting too many shots off the catch rather than putting it on the deck. We changed some personnel and sized down, and it seemed to help us. Yet again, Will made a great feed to Ray [Henderson] when we did have a size advantage and Ray scored big, so it sort of worked both ways for us.
“We haven’t shot the basketball well for about three weeks, since that Carolina game. We dodged some bullets tonight because both Henderson and Braddick came in the second half and really gave us a lift on both ends. When we make 16 assists and only 13 turnovers, we’re a much better ballclub. In the best games we’ve played this year, we have resisted turnovers. Maybe a few quick triggers, but sometimes those go in. “
Clemson guard Will Solomon:[Beating North Carolina during the season] “It gives the whole team confidence because we know we can play with the best. We know North Carolina is going to come in here hungry, but we know we can play with those guys.
[Last 3-pointer] “I just shot it and it went in. I have to credit my teammates. They all ran the floor. Tony, Dustin and I were all back, so they had to split up and guard us. Two went to Tony and one went to Dustin and that left me wide open. Dustin made a great pass to me and I just knocked it down. I thought about dishing it off, but we were down by two, and I just said, Win, lose or draw. I shot the shot and it went in. That’s basketball. You’re going to have your highs and your lows. I didn’t shoot the ball particularly well today but I’ll do anything to win. I think I played great defense today and so did the rest of the team and we came up with the victory.
Florida State head coach Steve Robinson:
“The first thought I have is that if this is an indication of what the tournament is going to be like, then from a fan’s perspective, they’ve got to be excited. I think that was a very good college basketball game. You have everything you want. You have lead changes. You have big shots. You’ve got great effort plays by both teams. Certainly you give credit to Clemson and Coach Shyatt and his crew. I thought they played well. They did a nice job. I thought our guys played hard and were very competitive. The effort was outstanding. One team made a couple of more plays than the other team did and pretty much that’s the difference in the game.”
[Last possession] “We wanted to get a good look at the basket. We were in a situation where we got a couple of screen, tried to get somebody open. We knew that we didn’t need a three. We just needed to score. We were just down two points. Adrian (Crawford) took the shot and didn’t get it go. Antwuan (Dixon) had the rebound and lost it out of bounds. We had almost two chances there. We had a number of opportunities. It just wasn’t our night. Tonight was their night to win.”
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