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Tigers Battle Tar Heels Wednesday Night in Littlejohn

Tigers Battle Tar Heels Wednesday Night in Littlejohn

Jan. 18, 2005

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Clemson has beaten North Carolina four of the last six years atLittlejohn Coliseum, including each of the last two years under twodifferent coaches. Clemson won the contest last year 81-72 when itmade 11-13 three-point goals, an all-time Clemson record. Clemsoncenter Sharrod Ford has shot 23-32 from the field over his careeragainst North Carolina. a .719 figure. Ford currently ranks in thetop 10 in the ACC in rebounding, blocked shots and field goalpercentage. He is in the top 10 in Clemson history in field goalpercentage and blocked shots and is now 15th in rebounding. Juniorguard Shawan Robinson has made 10-20 three-point goals in hiscareer against North Carolina, including 5-6 in last year’s Clemsonvictory in Littlejohn Coliseum. Robinson is shooting 51.3 percentfrom three-point range in Littlejohn Coliseum so far this season.In seven of the last eight Clemson games, the team that has won thefirst five minutes of the second has gone on to win the game. Thatincludes both games last week. Clemson went on a 10-2 run to openthe second half at Florida State and went on to a two-pointvictory. Virginia Tech went on an 11- 5 run to open the second halfin its two-point win over the Tigers last Saturday. Clemson HeadCoach Oliver Purnell and North Carolina Head Coach Roy Williamswere assistant coaches on the USA Basketball’s 2004 Olympic Team inAthens, Greece. Clemson’s game with North Carolina is its only homegame in a 19-day period between Jan. 9-28. Clemson is in the middleof playing four out of five conference games on the road. Clemson,NC State, Virginia Tech and Florida State are the only league teamswho have to play four out of five ACC games on the road at anypoint in the season. Clemson has beaten a top 20 North Carolinateam 12 times, including three times since 1999. Clemson has sevenwins over top 10 Tar Heel teams and four wins over top five NorthCarolina teams. Clemson has more top 20 wins over North Carolinathan any other school. Of course, there have been moreopportunities than any other school. Clemson is shooting 49.6percent from the field at home and just 39.7 percent from the fieldon the road so far this year. Clemson is 7-1 at home so far thisyear with the only loss coming to Wake Forest. Freshman CliffHammonds leads all conference freshmen in scoring so far this yearwith a 10.1 average. The native of Cairo, GA who leads the team inplaying time had a 3.25 GPA in architecture in his first semesterat Clemson.

Clemson vs. North Carolina Series

Clemson has won two of the last three with North Carolina. WhenClemson won the last meeting of 2002-03 and the first meeting of2003-04, it was just the third time in history Clemson had wonconsecutive games from the Tar Heels. It was the first time Clemsonhad done it since the 1979-80 era. Clemson also won two straightfrom North Carolina in 1963-64, the only time Clemson has sweptNorth Carolina in the same season. Clemson defeated North Carolinatwice in double overtime that season. Clemson has defeated NorthCarolina at Clemson four of the last six years, the first timeClemson has beaten North Carolina four times in a six-season periodsince the 1975-80 era. Last year when Clemson defeated NorthCarolina at Clemson it gave Clemson three wins in a four-yearperiod of North Carolina. Chris Hobbs, a senior in 2003-04, playedin all three of those games and was the first Tiger to play inthree wins over the Tar Heels since Bobby Conrad played in threefrom 1977-80. Ironically, Hobbs was from Chapel Hill. The only timeClemson has beaten North Carolina four times in a four-year periodwas the 1964-67. But, freshmen were not eligible then so no Clemsonplayers played in all four victories. The 2001 Clemson victory atLittlejohn Coliseum was one of the biggest upsets in schoolhistory. North Carolina entered the game ranked first in the nationand on an 18-game winning streak. Clemson had lost eightconsecutive games. In fact, that win over a #1 ranked NorthCarolina team was Clemson’s only victory that year between January14 and March 7. Clemson lost four straight after the win, all bydouble digits. Overall, North Carolina holds a 113- 19 lead in theseries that dates to a 48-24 North Carolina win in Chapel Hill in1926. Clemson’s first win in the series took place in the 1939Southern Conference Tournament, when Clemson upset North Carolinabehind Banks McFadden, 44-43. That was the opening round of theevent held in Raleigh. Clemson’s only other win in the seriesbefore 1964 took place in Tiger town, 77-69 in 1952. North Carolinawon 38 of the first 40 games of the series, including 25 in a rowbetween 1951- 52 and 1963-64 seasons. Clemson has defeated NorthCarolina in consecutive seasons just four times, including the lasttwo years. Clemson won in back to back years over North Carolina in1965-66 and 1966-67; 1978-79 and 1979-80, and 1888-89 and 1989-90;and each of the last two years. Clemson has never beaten NorthCarolina in three consecutive seasons, but will have a chance toaccomplish that feat on Wednesday night. Clemson is 15-32 againstNorth Carolina in games played at Clemson, 0-50 in Chapel Hill and4-31 in games played at neutral sites. While Clemson has neverbeaten North Carolina in Chapel Hill, the Tigers did have a regularseason sweep of North Carolina in 1963-64. That year Clemson won atClemson and in Charlotte in the North-South Doubleheader. Clemson’sonly win over North Carolina in the ACC tournament took place in1996 a game played in Greensboro. Clemson overcame an eight-pointhalftime deficit to win 75-73. Greg Buckner’s dunk off a pass fromHarold Jamison with 0.6 seconds left won the game for Clemson. TheTigers are 4-72 against North Carolina in games played in the stateof North Carolina. That streak is not long because Clemson won the1996 ACC Tournament game in Greensboro between the two teams,75-73. The other victories over North Carolina in the Tar Heelstate came in 1966- 67, when Clemson beat a #4 UNC team inCharlotte at the North-South Doubleheader by a 92-88 score; in1963-64 by a 97-90 count, also at the North-South Doubleheader inCharlotte; in 1938-39, in a 44-43 win in Raleigh at the SouthernConference Tournament.

Clemson Has Had Success vs. Tar Heels in Littlejohn Over the last six years Clemson has beaten North Carolina four times at Littlejohn Coliseum. That is the most wins for the Clemson program in a six-year period against the Tar Heels since the 1975-80 era when Clemson beat North Carolina four times under Bill Foster. All four of those victories were also at home. The only other time Clemson has beaten North Carolina four times in a six-year period took place between 1964-67 when Clemson gained four wins in just four years, including two in Charlotte in the North-South Doubleheader.

Among the other ACC teams, Clemson is 5-1 against Florida State, 4-2 against North Carolina, 4-2 against NC State, 3- 3 against Georgia Tech, 3-3 against Virginia, 1- 5 against Wake Forest and 0-6 against Maryland and Duke, in Littlejohn Coliseum over the last six seasons. So, Clemson has had its second highest success rate at home against North Carolina over the last six seasons.