Nov 24, 2002
By PETE IACOBELLIAP Sports Writer
ANDERSON, S.C. – Chris Hobbs scored 14 of his 19 points in the second half and Clemson held off Wofford to win its opener 79-72 on Sunday.
The Tigers, playing about 12 miles from campus at The Civic Center of Anderson while Littlejohn Coliseum undergoes a complete renovation, took an early liking to their new home and led 49-34 by halftime. But like the past three games in this series – decided by a total of 12 points – this one tightened up.
The Terriers (0-2) were down 61-58 with 9:11 left and 71-67 in the final four minutes.
Hobbs, though, always had the answer for Clemson.
His basket ended a 10-0 run by Wofford. He made two straight follow shots to extend Clemson’s lead to 71-62. And, with the Terriers trailing by five with two minutes remaining, Hobbs hit his last two shots to keep the Tigers from falling to Wofford as they did in the 1999-2000 season.
Hobbs played only seven minutes of the first half with foul problems. He finished 7-of-10 from the field with eight rebounds, including seven of Clemson’s 21 offensive boards.
Edward Scott also had 19 points. Ray Henderson added eight points and 12 rebounds.
Mike Lenzly led the Terriers with 22 points and Lee Nixon had 17 points off five 3-pointers.
While it’s not the new, 18,000-seat arena opened by Clemson’s rival South Carolina on Friday night, the Tigers filled the Civic Center with plenty of orange.
There was a large center-court tiger paw and championship banners for men’s and women’s basketball hung on both ends. The retired jerseys of Clemson greats Banks McFadden, Tree Rollins and Dale Davis as well as Lady Tiger’s star Barbara Kennedy-Dixon were in the rafters over the stands.
Even former Clemson forward Harold Jamison, part of the Tigers’ last 20-win season in 1999 came to watch. “There’s no place like Littlejohn,” he said. “But this is OK for now.”
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