March 14, 2006
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Louisiana Tech vs. ClemsonWednesday, March 15, 2006
Louisiana Tech forward Paul Millsap leads the nation inrebounding with 13.4 per game. He is trying to become the firstplayer in NCAA history to lead the nation in rebounding three yearsin a row. He had 28 rebounds in one game this season. He is a majorreason the Bulldogs are 11th nationally in rebound margin. Clemsonhas played Louisiana Tech just once previously, a 50-49 overtimevictory in the first round of the 1980 Rainbow Classic. Clemsonwent on to win the Rainbow Classic tournament. Vincent Hamilton (norelation to current Clemson guard Vernon Hamilton) led the Tigersin scoring in that game with 11 points. This is Clemson’s secondconsecutive year in the NIT, the first time since the 1997-98 and1998-99 seasons that Clemson has been to postseason play in back toback years. Clemson lost in the first round at Texas A&M lastyear, 82-74. Current Clemson guard Cliff Hammonds scored a careerhigh 26 points in that game to lead the Tigers. Clemson is comingoff a 66-63 loss to Miami (FL) in the ACC tournament. Clemsontrailed for just 97 seconds in that game. Vernon Hamilton led theTigers with 17 points, including a season high three three-pointgoals. Hamilton needs just three steals to reach the 200 mark forhis Clemson career. He already has the Clemson career record andthe single season mark (79 this year). Hamilton leads the ACC insteals with 2.72 per game and is on track to become the first Tigerto lead the ACC in steals. Shawan Robinson has made .909 of hisfree throws to lead the ACC this season. J.J. Redick is second at.877. Robinson is trying to become the first Clemson player since1966-67 to lead the ACC in free throw shooting. Clemson has a 10-12record in the NIT. This is Clemson’s 13th appearance in the event,more than any other ACC team. Oliver Purnell has a 6-6 record inthe NIT over his career. Akin Akingbala has averaged 15.3 pointsand 8.8 rebounds per game over the last 12 contests. He has scoredin double figures in 11 of his last 12 games, including the ACCTournament when he scored 14 points and had 13 rebounds. Clemsonneeds just three total steals to establish a team single seasonrecord. The Tigers have 329 at the moment, two less than the 331 bythe 1989-90 Clemson team. Clemson has made 62 of its last 145three-point goals (.428) over six games. Clemson has made at least38.5 percent of its three-point shots in each of the last fourgames.
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