Nov. 16, 2008
Charleston, SC – The men’s basketball team got its season off to the strong start it was looking for Sunday after the Tigers held off a feisty Temple team to take a 76-72 win in the championship game of the inaugural Charleston Classic.
Trevor Booker was named tournament MVP after turning in his second double-double in three games. The junior out of Whitmire, SC finished with 15 points and 16 rebounds, just one carom shy of his career high. Booker came through in the clutch for the Tigers, hitting 7-8 free throws for the game, including 5-6 in the second half with the Owls making a serious run.
Clemson fell behind early in the ballgame, with Temple taking a 10-3 lead following a pair of free throws from Luis Guzman. The Owls stretched their advantage to as much as eight points at an 18-10 margin, but for the second time in the tournament Clemson reeled off 15 consecutive points to completely erase Temple’s lead. The run was spurred by the outside shot, as three different Tigers made a three-pointer over a four-minute stretch in which the Owls were held scoreless.
The Tigers would extend their first-half cushion to as much as 12 points at 43-31 on a jumper by freshman Andre Young. However, the Owls outside shooting heated up in the final minutes of the opening half and Temple was able to cut the lead to just 45-39 at the half.
In the second half, Clemson’s working margin was comfortable for much of the early stages. The Tigers built a lead out to 14 points after a Raymond Sykes jumper in the paint gave Clemson the 63-49 advantage.
Temple cut the advantage down once again in the game’s final minutes, thanks to the outside firepower of Lavoy Allen. He scored eight points in the span of two minutes to pull Temple within two at 70-68 with 2:44 remaining in the game. Terrence Oglesby provided a key play with just under one minute remaining, as he drove the lane for a jump shot but was fouled. He hit both free throws and Clemson led by four. From there, the Tigers hit 4-6 from the charity stripe and held on for the 76-72 win.
Oglesby actually led the Tigers in scoring, posting 14 of his 16 points in the first half. He hit 4-8 from three-point range. K.C. Rivers quietly had a solid all-around game, posting 12 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and no turnovers in 34 minutes of action. Sykes was solid on the inside for Clemson, scoring 10 points on 5-7 shots and also contributing on the glass with seven rebounds. The Tigers out-rebounded the Owls 41-26, but were plagued by 22 turnovers.
Clemson next plays at home on Wednesday, November 19 against the Wofford Terriers. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 PM.
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