Sept. 2, 2007
Nassau, Bahamas – Clemson scored 113 points for the second straight day and cruised to a 55-point win over the Bahamas All-Stars. The Tigers shot an incredible 63.2 percent from the field, including 47 percent from behind the three-point line. Clemson also tallied 20 steals in the win.
“I thought we played better tonight than we did yesterday,” said Oliver Purnell, head coach of the Tigers. “I think the 10 days of practice were good for us.”
The Tigers jumped out to a 20-2 lead behind the strong play from point guard Demontez Stitt. He had assists on Clemson’s first three baskets, including one following a steal where he found Trevor Booker on a fast break. Also during the run, James Mays had a steal at mid-court then finished strong with a reverse dunk. Clemson led 26-7 after the first period.
The Bahamians closed the score to 33-17, but Clemson responded with a strong 9-2 run with just under four minutes to go in the second period. Following a 6-0 run by the Bahamas, Purnell inserted the starters with 2:20 to go and the team responded with an 11-1 run. The spurt was culminated by a Booker steal and Mays’ third dunk of the half. The Tigers led 53-26 at halftime, but could have had a larger lead had it not been for turnovers.
Clemson protected the ball much better in the second half and opened the third on a 10-3 scoring run. Stitt found Booker for two inside shots and also made a layup off penetration. The third period featured several easy baskets for Clemson in transition, including a pair of three-pointers from freshman Terrence Oglesby. The Tigers outscored the All-Stars 41-14 in the third period alone.
“We have bonded well and today we played pretty well as a team,” said K.C. Rivers, starting swingman for the Tigers. “We want to become better so in the long run we know how to handle certain situations.”
Rivers was one of five players in double figures Sunday. All 15 players that traveled played in the game. Twelve of the 15 players scored at least two points. Nine players recorded at least one steal in Sunday’s contest.
With the exhibitions complete, the Tigers will conduct individual workouts until regular season practices begin in early October. Rivers thinks the team has benefited tremendously from the preseason practices and trip to the Bahamas.
“The practices were intense,” Rivers said. “The freshmen came in and picked up the system. We still have a long way to go. The extra practices gave us time to bond and helped us know each other’s tendencies.”
Rivers not only enjoyed the basketball experience provided by the trip, but also the experience of Atlantis Resort.
“This place is unbelievable,” he said. “This is one of the best hotels in the world. The water park was tremendous. I was excited to be the first player to go on the 60-foot drop. There is always something to do here, whether it is at the pool, park, or beach. You’re not bored here. From food to entertainment, this place has it all.”
Clemson’s first game of the 2007-08 season is at home versus Furman on November 12.
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