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Clemson downs EA Sports

Nov. 17, 2003

Clemson, SC – Frontcourt players Chris Hobbs, Sharrod Ford, Akin Akingbala and Steve Allen combined to shoot 22-26 from the field and scored 48 points to lead Clemson to a come-from-behind 89-76 victory over EA Sports in an exhibition college basketball game at Littlejohn Coliseum Monday night.

It was the final exhibition game for Oliver Purnell’s Tigers, who open regular season play Friday night at 6:00 PM against Gardner-Webb. Clemson earlier defeated NIKE Elite by an 85-68 score on November 7.

Hobbs led the Tigers with 18 points on 7-7 field goal shooting, and he added a team best seven rebounds in his 30 minutes of play. The Clemson senior captain has now scored 33 points in the two exhibition games and has made 14-20 shots from the field. Chey Christie, Clemson’s leading returning scorer from last year, added 16 points on 7-12 shooting and did not commit a turnover in 33 minutes of play.

The Tigers had six players in double figures for the second straight exhibition game. Steve Allen had a productive 10 minutes of play, as the red-shirt sophomore hit 6-6 shots from the field and scored 12 points. Shawan Robinson and Ford added 10 points apiece, while Akingbala scored eight on 4-4 field goal shooting.

EA Sports, a team of former college all-stars, was led by Josh Murray, a former player at IUPUI in Indiana, who scored 18. Mark Jones, a former Central Florida star scored 17 points. Texale Archie, formerly of Pepperdine contributed 11, while Johnny Parker, who starred at Missouri, scored 10. Former Wake Forest guard Broderick Hicks scored seven points off the bench for EA Sports, who was playing its 10th and final game against Division I schools in the month of November.

Clemson had an excellent game shooting the basketball as the Tigers connected on 63 percent from the field on 37-59 field goal attempts. Clemson made at least 62 percent in each half. Clemson had 24 assists as a team, including 11 by Robinson, who had the only double-double of the night for either team. The Tigers also continued their outstanding rebounding, winning the battle of the boards, 39-17. EA Sports had just three offensive rebounds the entire night. Clemson had a +32 rebound margin in the first exhibition game against NIKE Elite 10 days ago.

Clemson held a 35-31 lead with three minutes left in the first half. But, EA Sports went on a 19-4 run over the remainder of the first half and the first three minutes of the second half to hold a commanding 50-39 lead. Clemson’s opponent made 7-9 field goal attempts in the spurt.

But, Clemson battled back behind balanced scoring to take the lead at 56-55 on a jumper by Hobbs. Clemson continued to extend its lead behind some outside shooting by Chey Christie, who scored a pair of three pointers in the second half and made 4-5 shots from the field in the final 20 minutes. Clemson’s largest margin of the game was the final score.

Clemson trailed 41-39 at intermission, but won the second half 50-35.