December 3, 1998
CLEMSON, S.C. – East Tennessee State coach Ed DeChellis got exactly what he expected from No. 24 Clemson in the first half of his team’s 82-54 loss Thursday. The second half was a bit of a surprise, though.
That’s when Clemson (7-1) hit 8-of-14 from 3-point range to pull away from the Buccaneers (4-1).
Freshman guard Will Solomon hit three 3-pointers in a 24-9 surge that gave Clemson a 72-43 lead with less than five minutes to play.
“Other than Terrell McIntyre, it didn’t look like stat-wise their guys were really shooting that well from 3, and we were hoping that would continue, but obviously it didn’t,” DeChellis said.
He said the biggest surprise was the 3-point shooting of Clemson’s bench. Three reserves combined for seven of the team’s 11 3-pointers.
“I think that Solomon played really well tonight,” Clemson coach Larry Shyatt said. “Him, (Tony) Christie and (Andrius) Jurkunas hit their shots, and that is what we have been waiting for.”
DeChellis was willing to let the Tigers fire away from the outside while he focused his team’s defense in the paint.
“Going in, we said let them have the perimeter jump shots,” he said. “If they beat is like that, they beat us. When they start knocking down those shots, it’s over.”
Six different players connected from 3-point range for the Tigers, who held their eighth straight opponent to 60 points or less. It was Clemson’s 34th straight home victory over a nonconference opponent.
East Tennessee State hit 43 percent of its shots but only 25 percent of its 3-pointers (4-for-16).
“I believe this was our finest defensive performance,” Shyatt said.
McIntyre led five Tigers in double figures with 13 points. Solomon and Vincent Whitt scored 11. Jurkunas and Harold Jamison chipped in 10 points apiece, and Jamison had a game-high 10 rebounds.
Dimeco Childress led East Tennessee State with 11 points and Kyle Keeton added 10.
The Tigers were just 3-for-11 on 3-pointers in the first half, but still held a comfortable 36-21 lead. They built the lead by using their size advantage down low, as DeChellis expected.
The 6-foot-8, 250-pound Jamison scored 10 points in the first half.
“We just aren’t physical enough to match up with a team like Clemson,” DeChellis said.
East Tennessee State pulled to within 11 early in the second half, but that’s when Clemson started hitting from the outside.
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