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Tigers Look To Make It Four In A Row Over Wolfpack

Tigers Look To Make It Four In A Row Over Wolfpack

Raycom / Jefferson Pilot 9:00pm

Feb. 12, 2001

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First MeetingClemson 72, NC State 69Jan. 13, 2001 at Clemson, SC

Will Solomon scored 29 points, including 25 in the second half and all seven of Clemson’s points in the final 2:41, leading the Tigers to a 72-69 win over NC State on January 13. The victory was the first of the season in conference play for the Tigers, who have now won five of six against the Wolfpack. The win was the 10th of the year for the Tigers, equaling the win total of last year for Larry Shyatt’s team.

Clemson improved dramatically on defense in its win over NC State. The Tigers had given up 219 points in their first two ACC games and had allowed 54 percent shooting. But, Clemson held the Pack to 29.9 percent shooting, tying for the best field goal percentage defense of the year, and best in an ACC game since February of 1998 when Florida State shot just 26.8 percent against the Tigers in Tallahassee.

Solomon scored 25 of Clemson’s 43 second half points, but he did have significant support from his teammates. Freshman forward Chris Hobbs had a double-double, accumulating 10 points, 11 rebounds and three assists in 28 minutes. Ray Henderson, who started at center in place of the injured Adam Allenspach, had 10 rebounds and eight points in 26 minutes. Edward Scott had 10 points and just two turnovers in 38 minutes running the point. Dwon Clifton had nine points on 4-6 shooting in 22 minutes.

Scott was a key on defense, holding Anthony Grundy, NC State’s top scorer and a 49 percent field goal shooter, to 6-27 shooting. Damien Wilkins shot just 1-10 against the Clemson defense. Kenny Inge led the Pack with 19 points and 12 rebounds. The Pack made just 20-67 shots from the field, 8-32 on three-point goals. They entered the game shooting 42.5 percent on three-pointers. State played without Archie Miller, who was leading the nation in three-point percentage (.620) entering the contest.

The game was close throughout with few scoring runs. Over the first 35 minutes of the game the largest lead for either team was six points. The Pack had a 42-36 lead at the 16:05 mark when Kenny Inge made a conventional three-point play. The Tigers then went on a 20-8 run to take a 56-50 lead with 7:34 to play. Clemson expanded the lead to 60-52 at 5:53 when the Pack called timeout. Clemson’s largest lead was 65-56 with 3:22 to go.

But, NC State went on a 9-2 run, highlighted by a pair of three-point goals by Scooter Sherrill. Clemson led 71-69, but Grundy was called for traveling with five seconds left. Solomon made one free throw and Clifford Crawford’s 40-foot three-point attempt missed at the buzzer.

Tigers From North Carolina

Clemson is in the middle of a four-game stretch in which it plays all four ACC teams from the state of North Carolina. This week Clemson travel to Raleigh to meet NC State, then will play host to North Carolina. Wake Forest comes to Clemson on Feb. 21.

This Clemson team does not mind going to the Tar Heel state because six of Clemson’s 16 roster players are from North Carolina. The list includes five scholarship players and one walk-on. Starters Chris Hobbs (Chapel Hill) and Ray Henderson (Charlotte) are from North Carolina. Chucky Gilmore, a starter last year who is out for the year with a torn ACL injury, is from Fayetteville. Walker Holt is a guard from Greensboro, while walk-on guard Wes Long is from Charlotte.

Clemson started an all North Carolina frontline in the win over NC State in January and that should be the case again at NC State. In that first meeting, Clifton had a season high nine points, hit 4-6 from the field, including an important three-pointer in the second half. Hobbs had his fourth double-double of the season, collecting 10 points, 11 rebounds in 28 minutes. Henderson had 10 rebounds and eight points in 26 minutes.

This is the largest contingent of North Carolina residents on the Clemson roster in history.

Clemson vs. NC State Series

Clemson has won five of the last six, and 13 of the last 17 meetings with NC State. Clemson has had the upper hand, but eight of the last 13 have been decided by five points or less. Clemson has won five of those eight close games.

Clemson has had more success against the Pack than any other ACC team since the 1992-93 season. The Tigers swept NC State last year, winning 59-42 at Clemson and 66-63 at NC State. It was Clemson’s first sweep of NC State since the 1994-95 season, Larry Shyatt’s first year (assistant) at Clemson. The Tigers have a chance for a sweep again this year.

Clemson and NC State split their season series four consecutive years prior to last season. It has not been a series dominated by the home team either. In fact, in five of the last 11 games the visiting team has had the upper hand.

In 1995-96 and 1997-98 the road team won each game, a “road win split”. Clemson had just three road win split season series with ACC teams in the 1990s and two of the three were against NC State. Both teams won on the road in 1995-96, splitting a pair of games decided by five points or less. then in 1997-98, NC State won a thriller at Clemson, 82-80 in overtime. The Tigers responded with a 77-72 win in Raleigh in a game that clinched an NCAA spot for the Tigers.

The Tigers won at Clemson in 1998-99 behind two players with at least 20 points, while NC State won in Raleigh thanks to two different players with at least 20 points. Harold Jamison had 25 and Terrell McIntyre added 22 in the win at Clemson, Larry Shyatt’s first ACC win. Justin Gainey had 28 on a perfect shooting night (7-7 field goals and 10-10 free throws), while Kenny Inge added 23 in the Wolfpack win in Raleigh later in the season.

NC State has an 86-40 record against the Tigers overall. The Pack has a 26-25 lead in games at Clemson, but the Tigers have an 19-12 advantage in Littlejohn Coliseum, including victories in seven of the last nine games. NC State has a 41-10 lead in games at Raleigh and a 19-5 lead in games on neutral sites. Clemson is 1-0 at the Entertainment and Activities Center.

Last Game in RaleighClemson 66, NC State 63Feb. 27, 2000 at Raleigh, NC

Andrius Jurkunas scored a career high 23 points, including 17 in the second half, leading Clemson to a 66-63 victory at NC State on Sunday, Feb. 27, 2000. Clemson overcame a 10-point deficit with just six minutes to play to gain the victory, and snapped a 14-game ACC road losing streak in the process. Jurkunas had a career high six three-point goals in the game in just seven attempts.

In addition to his scoring, Jurkunas made two free throws with 14.6 seconds left to give Clemson a 64-63 lead, then he defended Anthony Grundy on the Pack’s last possession. Jurkunas deflected Grundy’s shot, Will Solomon picked up the loose ball and sped for a clinching layup and 66-63 victory.

Solomon had a fine all-around game with 13 points, eight rebounds and six assists. He also defended Grundy for much of the game and the Pack’s top scorer made just 3-16 shots from the field, 0-6 on three-point attempts. Freshman guard Adam Allenspach had six points and eight rebounds.

Clemson had 14 turnovers in the game, but just four in the second half. The Tigers shot 50 percent in the second half to 35.7 by NC State. Clemson made 11-19 three-point goals in the contest and scored on 71.4 from the foul line. Clemson also won the rebounding by seven, 38-31.

Clemson trailed most of the game. After the Pack had a 32-26 lead at intermission, Clemson cut the margin to one at 32-31 with a 5-0 burst to start the second half. The margin stayed between one and three points for the next 10 minutes. NC State then took a 59-49 lead with 7:09 left on a second straight three-point goal by Damien Wilkins.

Clemson then went on a 13-0 run, its second longest run of the season, to take a 62-59 lead on a rebound goal by Chucky Gilmore. NC State shot just 1-12 from the field down the stretch, but State took the lead at 63-62 with just 33 seconds left on a free throw by Kenny Inge. On Clemson’s next possession, Jurkunas was fouled, and made two free throws to give Clemson the lead.

With Solomon’s final score, Clemson went on a 17-4 run to end the game. Clemson ended its 17-point win at Clemson earlier in the year with a 17-4 run.

Clemson Win at NC State Landmark

*Clemson’s trailed 32-26 at intermission. It marked the first time since 1964 that Clemson overcame a halftime deficit at NC State to win a game.

*Just the third time in 13 years that Clemson had overcome a halftime deficit on the road to win an ACC game.

*Clemson broke a 14-game ACC road losing streak with the 66-63 victory.

*Clemson overcame a 10-point deficit with six minutes left to gain victory. It was the first time Clemson overcame a double digit second half deficit to gain victory since March 6, 1998 when Clemson overcame a 10-point second half deficit to beat Wake Forest.

*Just the 14th Clemson victory in the North Carolina Triangle (at NC State, Duke or UNC) in 47 years of ACC basketball.

*Won its first ACC road game decided by five points or less since the 1997-98 season, a five-point win at NC State.

*Gave Clemson its first sweep of NC State since the 1994-95 season.

Shyatt and Sendek Coached Together

This will be the sixth meeting between Larry Shyatt and Herb Sendek as head coaches. Larry Shyatt holds a 4-1 advantage in the five games played so far. The two mentors were assistant coaches together under Rick Barnes on Providence’s 1988-89 staff. That team finished with an 18-11 record and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Both coaches have had important wins against the other. In Herb Sendek’s first year at NC State, he gained his first ACC win against a seventh-ranked Clemson team in Raleigh, 58-54. NC State was 0-7 in the league heading into that game. Rick Barnes was Clemson’s head coach, Larry Shyatt was in his last year as an assistant.

Shyatt earned his first ACC win as Clemson head coach against Sendek, an 80-72 victory at Clemson. Last year, Clemson got its first ACC win against the 21st ranked Pack, 59-42 at Clemson. This year, Clemson again got its first ACC win against the Pack. Thus, each of his first three years as Clemson coach, Larry Shyatt has earned his first ACC win against Sendek.

Clemson has a seven-game ACC loosing streak and could end that with a victory at State. As stated previously, Sendek ended a seven-game losing streak with a win over the Tigers in his first year.

Clemson with a Week to Prepare

Clemson has a week to prepare for its game with NC State on Wednesday. This is the second time this year Clemson has had a week to prepare for an ACC game and both contests have been against NC State. So far this year Clemson is 3-0 in games in which it has had a week to prepare. Clemson defeated Wofford and Charleston Southern with a week’s preparation, then of course defeated the Pack in January with a week to prepare. Having a week to prepare can help and it has helped during Larry Shyatt’s tenure at Clemson. In his first year he had a week to prepare for the home game with ninth ranked North Carolina. The Tigers defeated North Carolina, 79-63.

Winning in the Triangle

Over the years Clemson’s basketball team has viewed traveling to the North Carolina Triangle like sailors view boating through the Bermuda Triangle. Clemson had won just nine regular season games in 135 contests at North Carolina, N.C. State and Duke heading into the 1994-95 season. Since that year Clemson has a 5-14 record at Duke, N.C. State and North Carolina combined, so the mark is now 14-138 at those three sites combined. That includes losses at Duke and at North Carolina this year. The 1994-95 season was the first time in Clemson history that the Tigers had won their first two games in the Triangle and it was just the second time Clemson had won at least two games in the Triangle in the same year. Clemson also won at Duke and N.C. State in 1976-77, Tree Rollins’ senior season. Clemson has never won at North Carolina and obviously has never swept all three games in the North Carolina Triangle.

Clemson’s overall record in the North Carolina Triangle, including conference tournaments (ACC or Southern) is now is 23-158. Cliff Ellis won in the Triangle just twice in 30 games, both at N.C. State (1986-87 and 1993-94, his last appearance in the triangle). Bill Foster has five of the 14 regular season Clemson wins in the Triangle. Rick Barnes had four triangle wins in his four years as head coach. Larry Shyatt defeated NC State in Raleigh last year.

Clemson has a lifetime record of 10-41 at N.C. State, 4-50 at Duke and 0-47 at North Carolina in regular season play. The list below does not count ACC or Southern Conference Tournament games played in Raleigh. Clemson has won nine games in conference tournaments in Raleigh, including its most successful Southern Conference and ACC Tournaments in history. Clemson won the Southern Conference Tournament in Raleigh in 1939, its only conference tournament championship in history. In 1962 the Tigers advanced to the finals of the ACC Tournament at the Reynolds Coliseum with victories over N.C. State and Duke. Clemson lost in the finals to Wake Forest, a team that included guard Billy Packer, who will broadcast Wednesday night’s game against the Pack. That 1962 contest remains Clemson’s only appearance in the ACC Tournament Championship game.

Clemson 1-0 in EA Center

Clemson had an all-time record of 8-30 in Reynolds Coliseum in regular season play against the Pack, but the Tigers won four of the last six in the building. Clemson won its first meeting against NC State in the new Entertainment and Activities Center last year and has thus now won five of its last seven games at NC State.

Clemson had just four wins in Reynolds Coliseum between 1950 and 1993. Clemson first won in Reynolds in 1963-64, 66-52. Clemson won in the building just once in the 1970s, 68-66 in 1976-77, Tree Rollins senior year. The Tigers won twice in the 1980s, Larry Nance’s senior season (1980-81) and Horace Grant’s senior year (1986-87).

Ironically, one of Clemson’s only two losses in Reynolds the last seven years took place in 1996-97, Clemson’s best year over the last 10 seasons. Clemson was ranked 8th in the final USA Today poll that season and finished with a 23-10 record. But, the Tigers lost at NC State that year, 58-54. Clemson was 17-2 and ranked 7th in the nation entering the game with a Wolfpack team that had not won an ACC game (0-7). But, the Tigers, had just one day to prepare and suffered the upset loss.

Clemson Won Southern Conference Title in Raleigh in 1939 This is the 61-year anniversary of Clemson’s only postseason tournament championship in history. The 1938-39 Tigers, led by All-American Banks McFadden, won four games in the first four days of March in 1939 to claim the Southern Conference championship. The Tigers have not won a postseason tournament title since. The 1939 Southern Conference Tournament was held at Memorial Gym. Reynolds Coliseum had not been built at that time.

Clemson tied for last place in the regular season and had to play North Carolina in the first round. Clemson gained a 44-43 victory. In the second round, Clemson won another close game, 30-28 over favored Wake Forest. The Tigers defeated Davidson, 49-33 in the semifinals, then stopped #1 seed Maryland, 39-27. Clemson never led at halftime in any of the four games.

Clemson Faces Another Wilkins

One of the top sophomores in the ACC this year is NC State’s Damien Wilkins. He is the second member of his family to face the Tigers. Damien’s father, Gerald Wilkins, a longtime NBA player, played against Clemson with distinction in 1985.

Gerald Wilkins was the star player for UT Chattanooga that year and Clemson traveled to Tennessee to face his team in the first round of the NIT. Wilkins responded with a game high 26 points on 12-18 shooting to lead the Mocs to a 67-65 victory. He also had five rebounds and two blocks for his 38 minutes of play. Clemson was led by Vincent Hamilton and sophomore forward Horace Grant, who had 16 points apiece. Grant is still playing in the NBA for the Seattle Supersonics. The game was the final contest of the 1984-85 season for the Tigers, the first year of the Cliff Ellis era.

Damian Wilkins has never beaten Clemson, losing three in a row in his young career. Earlier this year the Tigers held him to 1-10 field goal shooting, including 0-6 on three-point goals in 30 minutes of play. In the three games, Clemson’s defense has held Wilkins to 5-26 field goal shooting, including 3-17 on three-point shots.

Clemson vs. Duke Review

Duke went on a 22-9 run over the last six minutes of the game and went on to an 81-64 victory over Clemson on Feb. 7 at Littlejohn Coliseum. The Tigers had closed to within four points, 59-55 on a jumper by Tony Stockman. Duke called timeout then immediately went on a 9-0 run on four field goals by four different players. Clemson made just 5 of its last 15 shots from the field to end the game.

Clemson was led by Will Solomon and Chris Hobbs added 11 points apiece for the Tigers, who made just 1-12 three-point shots in the game. That 3-point shooting percentage of 8.3 percent was the worst by a Clemson team under Larry Shyatt. Clemson entered the game 16th in the nation in made three-point goals per game.

Duke was led by Nate James, the Clemson killer, who had 27 points in 39 minutes. He made 10-14 shots from the field. He had scored 21 points against the Tigers earlier in the season. Mike Dunleavy had 17 points and 17 rebounds, the most rebounds by a Duke player this year and the most against a Larry Shyatt coached Clemson team.

Shane Battier added 15, but the Tigers held Jason Williams, number-two scorer in the ACC to eight points on 3-11 shooting. Williams also had 10 turnovers, most against the Tigers this year. The sophomore did distribute 11 assists in his 35 minutes. Duke had 15 assists and 16 turnovers, one of just a handful of games this year Duke has had more turnovers than assists. Clemson made just 64 percent from the foul line, ending a streak of five straight games of at least 70 percent free throw shooting.