Jan. 12, 2011
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CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) – Jerai Grant scored a career-high 20 points and Clemson won its eighth straight game, taking its snow-delayed contest with Georgia Tech 87-62 on Wednesday night.
Grant, the son of former Oklahoma standout Harvey, made nearly everything he shot and so did the Tigers (13-4, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who finished with their highest shooting percentage (69.2) against an ACC opponent in 57 years of league play.
Grant was 5 of 6 from the field and 10 of 12 from the line, surpassing his previous best of 19 set last month in a win over UNC Greensboro.
Clemson finished 27 of 39 from the field, including 9 of 9 on 3-pointers in the second half.
It was that shooting touch that sunk Georgia Tech (7-8, 0-2).
Demontez Stitt began the barrage with a 3 to put the Tigers up 39-35. When Andre Young hit back-to-back 3s, they led 51-41. Tanner Smith had two more 3s to make it 59-46.
When sophomore Bryan Narcisse made just his third 3 of the season, Clemson was ahead 67-50 and cruising.
The Tigers finished with a season-high 11 3-pointers.
Mfon Udofia led the Yellow Jackets with 14 points.
The game was originally scheduled for Tuesday night but delayed because of the snowstorm that struck the Southeast this week.
The cold weather didn’t bother the Tigers. Stitt and Smith scored 16 points apiece as the five Clemson starters scored in double figures.
Clemson’s percentage was the fourth-best in school history and surpassed its best against an ACC opponent, set in 1984 with a 27-of-40 shooting performance (67.5) in a loss at Virginia.
The ice and snow that delayed this contest made the two-hour drive between campuses nearly impossible. Even Wednesday, some local roads around Clemson were pockmarked with black ice.
Clemson offered students, who returned to class earlier in the day, free popcorn and soda to attend. For college kids on a budget, that’s like ribeye and fine wine, and the student sections at Littlejohn were packed, loud and feisty
Also attending were football caoch Dabo Swinney and his newest hires in offensive coordinator Chad Morris and defensive end coach Marion Hobby. Morris arrived from Tulsa earlier Wednesday and was already getting to know next year’s starting quarterback, Tajh Boyd, who sat next to his new position coach – Morris is also responsible for quarterbacks – at the game.
They watched a slow-starting first half that gradually picked up.
Georgia Tech went nearly six minutes without a bucket early on to fall behind 10-2 and 25-16.
However, the Yellow Jackets led 33-32 on Udofia’s bucket with 36 seconds to go.
Clemson’s Narcisse, though, gave the fans – and the football coaches – something to cheer as time expired by flipping in Smith’s short 3-pointer for a 34-33 lead at the break.
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