Nov. 9, 2000
Clemson, SC – Starting guard Krisptaps Purnis and and Sandis Buskevics combined for 13 made three-point goals and 50 points, leading Latvia Club Ventspils to a 113-104 victory over Clemson at Littlejohn Coliseum Thursday evening. It was the final exhibition game for Clemson. Larry Shyatt’s Tigers open the season November 17 against Hartford at Littlejohn Coliseum.
The team from Latvia had earlier been defeated by four points at NC State and by a bucket at the buzzer at Wake Forest.
Clemson was led in scoring by Will Solomon who scored 32 points. The ACC’s top scorer from a year ago made 6-9 three-point goals, handed out four assists and had just two turnovers. Starting center Adam Allenspach had 20 points and 10 rebounds, including 6-6 from the foul line. It was the second double-double of the preseason for the Tigers only senior.
Freshman guard Tony Stockman was outstanding off the bench. The rookie from Ohio scored 17 points, including 5-7 three-point goals. Pasha Bains, who scored 29 in Clemson’s win over the California All-Stars last week, had 12 in 20 minutes against the team from Latvia.
Latvia had five total players in double figures. In addition to their backcourt duo, Kip Stone added 18, Jevgenijs Kosuskins had 11 and Andrejs Kapinos added 13. Latvia was an offensive machine, handing out 29 assists on 38 hoops. They shot 54.4 percent for the night and made 17-36 three-point goals, 47 percent. Purnis made 8-12 three-point goals on the night, including 7-8 in the first half. Additionally, the made 20-25 free throws and had just 13 turnovers in the fastpaced game.
Clemson was just about as proficient on offense. Clemson made 35-64 shots from the field, 54.7 percent, including 14-29 three-point shots. Clemson was 20-23 from the foul line, 87 percent. Clemson won the rebound war, 39-28. The difference in the game was turnovers. Clemson committed 24 on offense, while Latvia had just 13. Latvia had more steals than turnovers as a team.
Latvia scored 58 points in the first thanks to 10-20 three-point shooting. Purnis was an incredible 7-8 on three-point shots in the first half, good for 21 points. Buskevics had 15 points, eight assists and five steals by intermission. Clemson hung tough behind 15 points from Solomon and 12 from Allenspach. Latvia led 58-48 at halftime.
The team from Latvia quickly opened the margin to 63-50 just 1:30 into the second half on a three-point goal by Kosuskins. But, Clemson came back to cut the margin to 74-71 with 11:26 left on a layup by Ray Henderson off a feed from Stockman. Stockman fueled the comeback with eight points in a 21-9 Clemson run.
The game remained close, between a five and seven-point margin until Lativa took a 91-80 lead at the 6:20 mark on another Kosuskins score. The Tigers got to within six points in the final minute on a three-pointer by Solomon (107-101), but that was as close as Clemson could get.
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