The streak lives on


by - Senior Writer -
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Stitt scored 11 points for the Tigers.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The streak continues.

Not that Clemson didn’t have its chances, but a combination of turnovers, a big disparity at the free throw line, ill-timed shots and a lack of first half defense all cost the Tigers a chance to break their winless streak in Chapel Hill, and North Carolina held on for a 75-65 victory at the Smith Center Tuesday night.

Clemson is now 0-55 in games played in Chapel Hill, an NCAA record for most consecutive home wins against a single opponent.

The Tigers (13-6 overall, 2-2 ACC) tied the score at 63 with a 3-pointer by Demontez Stitt with 7:50 remaining, but were held to just two points the rest of the way as the Tar Heels (13-5, 3-1) were able to pull away for the win.

North Carolina was 17-for-25 from the line, while Clemson was just 5-for-10 from the charity stripe as the Tigers were called for 19 fouls to North Carolina’s 12.

The Tigers were dealt a huge blow when swingman Tanner Smith collided with Harrison Barnes in the first half. Smith crumpled to the floor, and was on crutches following the game with what head coach Brad Brownell called an MCL injury. Smith will have an MRI on Wednesday to determine the extent of the injury.

“The first thing I would say is give credit to North Carolina,” Brownell said after the game. “I thought those kids played real hard tonight. It was a pretty competitive basketball game. Very physical. Both teams were really laying it on the line. I’m proud of our guys. I thought maybe we didn’t handle some things as well in the first half as we would have liked to defensively.

“We weren’t very good, but we just battled and hung in there. We lost a very good player in Tanner Smith, a guy that has played 31 minutes a game for us. We knew we had to kind of dig a little deeper. We don’t have a lot of guys that size – 6-foot-3 to 6-foot-6 – that play for us, so we had to call on our bench to help us out. And I thought we got great play from Milton Jennings, Cory Stanton and Bryan Narcisse. We just weren’t quite good enough to finish it.”

Stitt hit his big 3-pointer to help the Tigers overcome a 10-point second half deficit, and it appeared the Tigers were in good position to finally bury the streak. But both teams went cold, and Barnes finally ended the drought when he hit a 3-pointer of his own to make 66-63 North Carolina with 4:58 remaining.

Stitt, who finished with 11 points, hit a layup off an offensive rebound to bring the Tigers back to within one at 66-65 with 4:28 remaining, but that would be the last points the Tigers would score as the Tigers could neither score nor get the big stop they needed.

Kendall Marshall added two free throws to make it a three-point game, then Henson tipped in a missed drive from Larry Drew II to push the margin to 70-65 with 2:04 left.

Drew punctuated the win with a steal and layup with 12.4 seconds left, leading to a familiar chant of "You can't win here!" from the student section on the baseline nearest the UNC bench.

In the first half, the teams swapped the lead three times before Clemson took its last lead of the night at 21-20 on a dunk by Devin Booker with 11:20 remaining. The Heels would eventually lead by 10 points when Drew hit a 3-pointer with a minute left to give UNC a 45-35 advantage.

Cory Stanton hit a big 3-pointer in the final 45 seconds, and the Tigers held UNC to a single free throw in the last minute to trail 46-38 at intermission.

Young said it was the first half that cost the Tigers the game.

"We just didn’t make enough winning plays,” Young said. “It was tough getting shots off because they do a good job of pressuring the passing lanes. We just didn’t get enough stops. We didn’t play well defensively. They scored 46 points in the first half and that is pretty much where we lost the game.”


Stitt, who hails from North Carolina and was playing his last game in Chapel Hill, said it was a multitude of things that cost the Tigers.

“We just couldn’t hit the shots,” Stitt said. “We had a couple of turnovers late that we didn’t need. This is really tough, because this is my last experience here. I will never play here again. We just couldn’t make big shots, and we let them get off to that hot start in the first half. I felt like we were in it the whole game. I always wanted to win here.”

Brownell said Stitt “played his tail off” despite not having a great shooting night, pointing to his five assists and zero turnovers, but Stitt said he felt like he didn’t play like he needed to.

“As a player, if the shots aren’t falling then you don’t feel like you are playing well,” he said. “There were a lot of shots I thought I could make, and I got fouled on a lot of them. But I didn’t get the call. I guess when you come to a place like this you shouldn’t expect to get the calls and you just have to play through it. Our bigs felt like they were getting hacked, but they didn’t call it. Nothing you can do about it.”

Booker, Young and Stitt each scored 11 points for the Tigers, while Narcisse chipped in 10 off the bench.




VISITORS: Clemson 13-5, 2-2 ACC
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
31 Booker, Devin....... f  5-8    1-2    0-0    3  2  5   4  11  1  1  1  0  22
45 Grant, Jerai........ f  1-12   0-0    0-2    4  3  7   3   2  1  1  0  1  24
02 Stitt, Demontez..... g  3-15   1-6    4-6    4  3  7   1  11  5  0  0  2  36
05 Smith, Tanner....... g  1-2    1-2    0-0    0  3  3   1   3  0  2  0  0   9
11 Young, Andre........ g  4-14   3-11   0-0    1  3  4   0  11  2  2  0  1  35
03 Anderson, Zavier....    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  2  2   2   0  1  4  0  1  11
10 Baciu, Catalin......    1-2    0-0    0-0    2  0  2   1   2  0  0  0  0   1
12 Stanton, Cory.......    3-5    1-1    0-0    0  1  1   3   7  1  2  0  0  16
21 Narcisse, Bryan.....    4-6    2-4    0-0    0  1  1   2  10  0  1  0  2  20
24 Jennings, Milton....    3-7    1-3    1-2    0  5  5   2   8  0  1  0  0  26
   TEAM................                         3  1  4             1
   Totals..............   25-71  10-29   5-10  17 24 41  19  65 11 15  1  7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 16-35 45.7%   2nd Half:  9-36 25.0%   Game: 35.2%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  5-14 35.7%   2nd Half:  5-15 33.3%   Game: 34.5%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  1-4  25.0%   2nd Half:  4-6  66.7%   Game: 50.0%   1,2


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: North Carolina 13-5, 3-1 ACC
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
31 John Henson......... f  7-12   0-0    0-0    4  4  8   3  14  2  0  5  1  23
40 Harrison Barnes..... f  4-9    1-3    4-7    2  4  6   2  13  1  6  0  0  30
44 Tyler Zeller........ f  3-5    0-0    5-6    1  6  7   2  11  0  2  3  0  28
01 Dexter Strickland... g  2-7    0-3    0-0    0  2  2   0   4  0  0  0  3  30
05 Kendall Marshall.... g  1-3    0-1    3-4    0  0  0   0   5  5  3  0  0  22
11 Larry Drew II.......    4-8    0-1    0-0    0  4  4   1   8  1  2  0  4  23
24 Justin Watts........    0-1    0-1    1-2    0  3  3   1   1  1  0  0  0   8
25 Justin Knox.........    0-3    0-0    1-2    0  4  4   2   1  0  0  0  0  18
35 Reggie Bullock......    6-10   3-7    3-4    2  3  5   1  18  2  1  0  2  18
   TEAM................                         1  3  4
   Totals..............   27-58   4-16  17-25  10 33 43  12  75 12 14  8 10 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 18-35 51.4%   2nd Half:  9-23 39.1%   Game: 46.6%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  3-8  37.5%   2nd Half:  1-8  12.5%   Game: 25.0%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  7-13 53.8%   2nd Half: 10-12 83.3%   Game: 68.0%    3


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Officials: Mike Eades, John Cahill, Ed Corbett
Technical fouls: Clemson-None. North Carolina-None.
Attendance: 20352
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Clemson.......................   38   27  -   65
North Carolina................   46   29  -   75

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