Nov. 17, 2000
By PETE IACOBELLI AP Sports Writer
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) – Pasha Bains scored a career-high 20 points and had six 3-pointers – double his career best – as Clemson won its 16th straight season opener, 86-67, over Hartford on Friday night.
Bains, a sophomore, hit four 3-pointers and freshman Tony Stockman had three as the Tigers closed the first half with a 29-14 run to lead 54-32 at the break.
The Hawks quickly dropped from sight at Littlejohn Coliseum in their opener. Their only lead came at 5-3 on Rob Sawicki’s 3-pointer with 18:22 left. A 3-pointer by Keyon Smith tied things at 11-all three minutes later.
But then Clemson took control as Bains and Stockman stepped forward – and became prime candidates to take some of Tigers’ scoring off Will Solomon, who led the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 20.9 average last year.
Bains, who had 16 threes all last season, opened the game with a 3-pointer and hit a second one as the Tigers regained the lead.
When the Hawks cut an 11-point lead to 25-18, Bains answered with two straight 3-pointers.
Hartford used a 20-5 second-half run to make it 71-63, but back-to-back threes by Bains and Solomon restored control.
Solomon chipped in with 17 points in a contest only arranged by coach Larry Shyatt as a senior going away gift for next season. If Solomon, from East Hartford, Conn., decides on the NBA after his junior year as he and Shyatt have discussed, the Tigers won’t play next year’s game in Hartford.
And that’s probably just as well for the rebuilding Hawks and first year coach Larry Harrison.
They were 10-19 a year ago in the America East Conference. They lost their three big-boy games to Boston College, Miami and Syracuse last season by an average of 33 points. Their best player may be their radio analyst, former Boston Celtics star and coach K.C. Jones.
Here, the Hawks made only eight field goals in the opening half and committed 13 turnovers.
Keyon Smith led Hartford with 17 points.
For the Tigers, it was a chance to play almost everyone on their roster and gain some confidence before the season’s first test Tuesday against Seton Hall.
Only twice last year did Clemson have four players in double figures. It happened in the first half of this one.
Besides Bains, Stockman and Solomon, Adam Allenspach scored 16 points.
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