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Clemson Falls To No. 6 North Carolina

Clemson Falls To No. 6 North Carolina

March 9, 2001

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ATLANTA – North Carolina advanced to the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament semifinals by beating the team that knocked it out of the top spot in the rankings last month.

Jason Capel made all six of his 3-pointers and scored 23 points as the sixth-ranked Tar Heels beat Clemson 99-81 Friday.

Ronald Curry added a career-high 10 assists for North Carolina (24-5), the top seed in the conference tournament. The Tar Heels, who had lost three of five coming in, are 12-1 in the ACC postseason against the Tigers, the ninth seed.

On Feb. 18, Clemson beat North Carolina 75-65 to stop the Tar Heels’ 18-game winning streak.

Joseph Forte, the ACC scoring leader, had another off game against Clemson, shooting 6-for-17 and scoring 15 points. He scored 14 and 16 against Clemson earlier this season, and his three-lowest conference point totals this season came against the Tigers.

Capel took over, going 8-for-9 from the field while adding nine rebounds and four assists.

Capel, one of North Carolina’s best all-around players but not noted for his scoring prowess, made all of his 3-pointers from the top of the key against a zone. He had never scored more than four 3-pointers in a game.

Brendan Haywood added 17 points for the Tar Heels, while Kris Lang had 16.

Will Solomon led the Tigers with 23 points, going 7-for-13 from 3-point range.

With the score 54-all, early in the second half. Clemson’s Ray Henderson picked up his fourth foul, knocking Curry to the ground in the lane. Henderson then said something to referee Larry Rose and was hit with a technical and his fifth foul.

Forte and Curry each made two free throws and the Tar Heels began to pull away, going on a 12-2 run to take a 66-56 lead with 12:45 left.

A 3-pointer by Solomon three minutes later pulled Clemson to 76-70. But North Carolina scored on its next seven possessions to push the margin to 16.

Capel made four 3-pointers in the final 5:01 of the first half – three in a span of 1:22 – as the Tar Heels went 7-for-8 from long range early.

Clemson, last in the ACC in field goal percentage, kept pace with the Tar Heels, making 7 of 12 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes. The Tigers trailed 50-45 at the break.