Nov. 20, 2001
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands – Jamar McKnight and Chris Hobbs both scored 19 points Tuesday night, but it was not enough as Miami (FL) defeated Clemson 67-65 in the championship game of the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Clemson fell to 2-1 with the loss, while Miami (FL) improved to 3-0. Clemson will meet Wofford in the home opener at Littlejohn Coliseum on Saturday evening at 7:00 PM.
Clemson had possession of the ball with 4.5 seconds left, down two. But, Chris Hobbs’ shot fell off the rim and the Hurricanes came away with their first ever win over the Tigers. The Tigers had won the first five meetings in the series.
McKnight had 17 of his career high 19 points in the first half. It was his second straight double figure scoring game, as he had scored 13 against LaSalle on Monday. Hobbs had 14 of his 19 after halftime. Those were the only players in double figures for the Tigers.
Tony Stockman, Clemson’s leading returning scorer from last year, was limited by a bruised knee and scored just three points. He suffered the injury in the first half against LaSalle on Monday night. Miami was led by John Salmons with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Marcus Barnes scored 13, including 11 in the second half. His two three-point goals down the stretch proved to be the difference.
Clemson trailed 67-60 with three minutes left. Scott hit a jumper at the 2:34 mark to cut the margin to five. After multiple possession exchanges, Hobbs scored a conventional three-point play with 47 seconds left to cut the margin to 67-65. Miami (FL) missed a shot and there was a tie-up for the rebound. The Paradise Jam was played with the experimental center jump on all tie-ups. Hobbs was involved with both jumps against taller players. Miami (FL) knocked the ball out of bounds on the second jump, giving Clemson one final try with 4.5 seconds left. But, Clemson could not convert the tying basket.
Miami took a 9-3 lead in the first half by hitting its first three shots. Clemson then went on a 25-9 run and took a 28-18 lead with eight minutes left in the first half. McKnight scored 15 of Clemson’s 25 points during that stretch. Clemson’s only senior made six of his first shots on the night and the Tigers hit 10 of their first 14 as a team. The Tigers had a similar start against LaSalle the previous night, hitting 13-18 to open the game.
That 10-point lead would be Clemson’s largest of the game. LaSalle battled back behind Salmons and took a 36-35 lead at intermission. Clemson then jumped to a 51-44 lead six minutes into the half, behind the inside play of Hobbs. But, LaSalle retaliated and tied the game at 52 then at 54. Those were two of the nine ties in the contest, and there were eight lead changes. Barnes hit a conventional three-point play to give Miami a 55-54 lead with seven minutes left. They then extended to seven points, 67-60 with three minutes left.
“It was a tough loss,” said Head Coach Larry Shyatt. “We have two emotions, we feel hurt, but we are proud of our performance. We came back with our leading scorer (Tony Stockman) out. We won hustle plays down the stretch and executed well on defense down the stretch. We got a good shot with four seconds remaining. One second made the difference in the game.
“Chris Hobbs played well. He gave great effort, especially at the end when he battled and got us possession of the tip against a taller player. He was not going to be denied.”
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