Jan. 6, 2007
Recap | Box Score
*Clemson improved to 16-0 overall and 2-0 in the ACC with the 75-74 win over Georgia Tech. Clemson is now one win away from tying the school record for consecutive wins at the beginning of a season and at any time during a year for that matter. Clemson won its first 17 games to open the 1986-87 season. Clemson’s next game is at NC State on Tuesday night.
*Clemson is now the last undefeated team in college basketball. UCLA lost at Oregon today to suffer its first loss of the season. Last year the last team to suffer a loss was Florida, who went on to win the national championship.
*When Clemson went 17-0 in 1986-87 it was not the last team to lose that year. Clemson’s streak ended with a 105-103 loss to Duke at home on January 24. Iowa had also been 17-0 entering that day, but lost to Ohio State that day. DePaul was actually the last team to lose in 1986-87. Ray Meyer’s Blue Demons were 16-0 heading into a January 25 game with Georgetown, but the Hoyas won 74-71. Thus, all three of those teams saw their winning streaks end on the same weekend, but DePaul held the distinction of being the last team to lose that year.
*Clemson is 2-0 in the ACC for the first time since 1996-97 when it won its first five ACC games. That is also the Clemson record for the best start to an ACC season. This is just the sixth time Clemson has won its first two ACC games.
*Clemson gained victory Saturday afternoon thanks to a driving layup from the left side by James Mays with 2.2 seconds left. It marked the second consecutive game that Clemson has scored a field goal inside the last three seconds to gain victory. Last Wednesday Cliff Hammonds scored on a driving layup from the left side of the basket with 2.8 seconds left to beat Florida State in Tallahassee, 68-66. In both cases Clemson had the ball 94 feet from the basket with exactly 6.5 seconds left after the opponent had made a field goal.
*This marked the first time in Clemson history the Tigers scored a game winning field goal inside the last 20 seconds to gain victory in consecutive games. The closest Clemson had come to accomplishing the feat took place in 1986-87, the last time Clemson was at least 16-0 to start a season. During that season, after the streak had been ended, Clemson won at Maryland on Feb. 4, 1987 by an 80-79 score on a three-point goal by Michael Brown with just eight seconds left. Then, 10 days later, but with two games in between, Clemson won at Virginia in overtime 94-90 on a three-point goal by Horace Grant with two seconds left. (After the three-point goal, Virginia called timeout, a timeout it did not have and the Tigers made another free technical free throw, and that accounts for the four-point margin). That came on Valentine’s Day, 1987.
*In 1986-87, Clemson’s last victory in its 17-0 start was a 67-66 victory at Georgia Tech, the same team Clemson defeated for its 16th win this year. There were similarities in that game. Clemson won that 17th straight game at Tech in 1986-87 when it got a jump shot by Michael Tait with just three seconds left, certainly close to the 2.2 seconds left in this past Saturdays game. Like the game 20 years ago, someone else was suppose to take the winning shot. On Saturday, Clemson’s last play was suppose to go to another player, but he was covered so James Mays drove for the winning shot. Twenty years ago, the last play called by Cliff Ellis was suppose to go to Horace Grant. But he was triple teamed so he passed to Tait, who hit the game winner.
*Clemson has now had four buzzer beater field goals (field goals inside the last five seconds) since Oliver Purnell became head coach for the 2003-04 season. In addition to the two this week, Cheyenne Moore made a three-point goal to beat South Carolina 63-62 at Columbia on December 4, 2004. On March 1, 2005, Sharrod Ford dunked at the buzzer on his senior night to beat Virginia Tech, 66-64.
*In the 13 years prior to Purnell’s arrival at Clemson the Tigers had just two game-winning plays inside the last 10 seconds. Those were Greg Buckner’s dunk with 0.6 seconds left to beat North Carolina in the 1996 ACC Tournament and Olu Babalola’s two made free throws with 5.7 seconds left to beat Virginia, 78-77 in 2002-03.
*Clemson defeated Georgia Tech for the third consecutive game. This is the first time since a 14-game winning streak between 1971-72 and 1981-82 that Clemson has beaten Georgia Tech at least three consecutive games.
*This is the first time Clemson has won consecutive games in the month of January since the 2001-02 season.
*KC Rivers scored 20 points in today’s game, his career high in an ACC game and his fourth 20-point scoring game this year. All have come off the bench. Rivers has now scored in double figures in 16 consecutive games, all off the bench.
*Clemson trailed by five points at halftime, just the second time this year Clemson has trailed at intermission.
*Clemson was out-rebounded today, 34-33, just the second time this year Clemson has been out-rebounded (by nine vs. Monmouth was the other game).
*Georgia Tech shot 59.2 percent from the field, yet Clemson won the game. That was the second best opponent field goal percentage against an Oliver Purnell coached Clemson team, yet the Tigers won the contest. Clemson was out-shot 59.2 percent to 38 percent, yet won the game. Clemson is now 5-19 under Oliver Purnell (2-0 this year) when allowing the opposition to shoot 50 percent or better. Two åof the five wins have come against Georgia Tech. Tech shot 52.6 percent from the field at Littlejohn Coliseum last year, yet Clemson won the game 95-82.
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