March 10, 1999
By PETE IACOBELLI AP Sports Writer
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) – Georgia didn’t want to be in the NIT this year. After the Bulldogs’ worst shooting performance this season, they won’t be anymore, losing 77-57 to Clemson in the opening round Wednesday night.
Terrell McIntyre scored 19 points and Harold Jamison had 15 points and 15 rebounds as Clemson (17-14) used a 29-7 first-half run to put away the Bulldogs.
Clemson, which has won five straight home games, will face Rutgers in next week’s second round.
It was hard to pick out the worst stat for the Bulldogs (15-15), who closed with four straight losses.
Was it the 12 points they managed in the opening half? Their 14-of-59 shooting (23.7 percent) from the field or the 5-of-32 from 3-point range? Or maybe Jumaine Jones’ cold, 1-of-9 start in what could be the talented sophomore’s final college game.
Clemson wasn’t exactly burning up the nets – the Tigers shot 23-of-60 – but it didn’t really have to.
Andrius Jurkunas’ 3-pointer started Clemson’s surge, while Tony Christie’s short jumper put the Tigers up for good. Then the lead steadily grew to blowout proportions, 29-12 by halftime and 69-43 on McIntyre’s 3-pointer with 2:52 remaining.
The Bulldogs’ worst previous shooting performance came against Tennessee, when they hit 22-of-64 (34.4) in a 75-65 loss Feb. 23.
It wasn’t exactly how Georgia hoped to finish. The Bulldogs reached the NIT semifinals last year and, with Jones, the Southeastern Conference’s leading scorer, heading an experienced group, the team expected to be prepping for an NCAA game this year.
But Georgia lost seven of nine league games between January and February to fall from the SEC picture. The Bulldogs were dumped by Alabama 65-58 in last week’s SEC tournament.
Jones told reporters two weeks ago that he wanted to go pro after this season. He finished with 20 points, all but three in the second half when the game was already out of control.
For Clemson, the victory was a pick-me-up after a grueling 87-85 overtime loss to Florida State in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
The Tigers, who start four seniors including star guard McIntyre, had a streak of three straight NCAA tournament appearances ended this season.
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