Tigers Send Seniors Out as Winners with 75-57 Win Over Virginia


by - Senior Writer -
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Raymond Sykes had 14 points in his final game as a Tiger. (photos: fotoman)

CLEMSON - Clemson captain K.C. Rivers walked of the Littlejohn Coliseum floor on Tuesday night to a standing ovation from the Clemson fans, thanking him for his four years of leadership to the Clemson program.

Rivers scored just two points in his finale at Littlejohn, but said the cheers could just as well have been for his defense in shutting down Virginia freshman Sylven Landesberg, who scored just three points, 14 under his season average, as Rivers led the 18th-ranked Tigers to a 75-57 win over the Cavaliers during Senior Night, breaking a two game losing streak and improving them to 23-6 overall, 9-6 in the ACC.

And he did it all with a sore shoulder ulnar nerve, which he injured early in the first half going up for a rebound, and he answered questions afterward with his right arm wrapped tightly to his side. Rivers said the trainer gave him some medicine for the injury, and he should be fine for Clemson’s regular season finale at Wake Forest.

“Basically, they were trying to shut me down, so I figured I would shut him down,” Rivers said of his defense on Landesberg. “I don’t have to score to be effective because I can do everything else. I can rebound, I can play defense, and I can contribute in a lot of different ways. “

Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell said he was proud of the seniors who were honored, but especially his captain.

“I am not disappointed because he went out a winner,” Purnell said. “He has won more game than any other player, and I think that is more significant (than his scoring). “

The first half was a back-and-forth affair that saw the Cavs jump out to a 13-11 lead, only to watch the Tigers reel off 13 points in a row, the last two coming on two technical free throws by Terrence Oglesby after Virginia head coach Dave Leitao was hit with a technical for coming out on the floor to protest a foul call.

The call seemed to throw some life back into the Cavs, who promptly went on a 10-0 run of their own, including a 3-pointer by Calvin Baker, who finished the first half with 12 points. The teams would then trade the lead until Andre Young hit a 3-pointer with 46 seconds left for a 32-31 Clemson lead at intermission.

Virginia scored the first two points of the second half to take a short-lived 33-32 lead, but the Tigers then made sure Senior Night was special, going on a 30-11 run that ended with two Oglesby free throws after Virginia’s third technical foul of the evening, called when the Cavs’ John Brandenburg taunted Demontez Stitt, who he had just knocked to the floor.

The Cavs were able to close within 15 points two more times, but each time the Tigers would answer in a big way, the last being a Trevor Booker dunk with 3:52 remaining for a 20-point lead that effectively sealed the deal.

“Strategically, they got some point-blank lay-ups and dunks that fueled them early,” Virginia head coach Dave Leitao said. “That put the onus on our half-court offense, and we did not do a very good job there.”

Oglesby led the Tigers with 18 points, including going 10-for-10 from the free throw line, six of which were off Virginia technicals. Booker added 13 points, and 15 rebounds, while senior Raymond Sykes added 14 points.

“I was pleased with our second half performance,” Purnell said. “We had 10 turnovers in the firsy half, and corrected that and only had five in the second. We were able to win the rebounding battle (36-27) and play sticky defense. Sometimes Senior Night can be hard emotionally, and those emotions can slow you down. I thought in the beginning we were slow, but the emotions took over and gave intensity in the second It was definitely a much-needed win.”

The Tigers might be playing for a bye game in the ACC Tournament when they play next in their regular season finale Sunday at Wake Forest.


VISITORS: Virginia 9-17, 3-12
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
45 Tat, Solomon........ f  0-0    0-0    1-2    0  1  1   0   1  1  2  0  0   9
21 Soroye, Tunji....... c  0-1    0-0    0-0    2  1  3   5   0  0  0  3  0  16
04 Baker, Calvin....... g  7-14   2-3    2-2    0  1  1   4  18  3  4  0  3  35
15 Landesberg, Sylven.. g  0-6    0-0    3-7    2  5  7   1   3  1  3  0  1  35
23 Jones, Jeff......... g  4-9    1-3    2-2    0  0  0   1  11  0  1  0  0  26
02 Farrakhan, Mustapha.    1-2    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   1   2  0  0  0  0   8
12 Tucker, Jamil.......    1-4    0-2    0-1    0  2  2   1   2  1  1  0  1  17
13 Zeglinski, Sammy....    2-4    0-1    0-0    0  1  1   1   4  0  1  0  0  13
22 Sherrill, Will......    0-0    0-0    1-2    0  0  0   0   1  0  0  0  0   1
24 Diane, Mamadi.......    0-2    0-1    0-0    0  0  0   1   0  0  1  0  0   3
25 Brandenburg, John...    0-0    0-0    2-2    0  1  1   2   2  0  0  1  0   8
32 Scott, Mike.........    5-7    0-0    3-4    5  3  8   3  13  1  2  0  1  29
   TEAM................                            2  2   1
   Totals..............   20-49   3-10  14-22   9 18 27  21  57  7 15  4  6 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 14-28 50.0%   2nd Half:  6-21 28.6%   Game: 40.8%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  2-7  28.6%   2nd Half:  1-3  33.3%   Game: 30.0%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  1-3  33.3%   2nd Half: 13-19 68.4%   Game: 63.6%    4


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: Clemson 23-6, 9-6
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
35 Booker, Trevor...... f  6-7    0-0    1-2    3 12 15   2  13  3  1  1  1  30
44 Yanutola, Jesse..... f  0-1    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  1  0  0   2
12 Sykes, Raymond...... c  5-9    0-0    4-6    3  2  5   3  14  2  1  2  2  25
01 Rivers, K.C......... g  1-7    0-3    0-0    1  5  6   4   2  0  3  0  2  31
02 Stitt, Demontez..... g  1-4    0-0    1-2    0  0  0   3   3  7  3  1  3  25
03 Anderson, Zavier....    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   1
04 Baize, Jonah........    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   1
05 Smith, Tanner.......    0-1    0-1    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  2  0  0   7
10 Baciu, Catalin......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   0   0  0  0  0  0   1
11 Young, Andre........    3-4    1-2    0-0    0  1  1   3   7  2  0  0  0  14
15 Potter, David.......    3-7    1-4    1-1    1  1  2   4   8  2  2  1  0  19
21 Narcisse, Bryan.....    0-0    0-0    0-2    0  1  1   0   0  0  0  0  0   1
22 Oglesby, Terrence...    3-7    2-6   10-10   0  1  1   0  18  1  2  0  0  30
45 Grant, Jerai........    4-5    0-0    2-2    0  2  2   2  10  1  0  1  0  12
55 Petrukonis, Karolis.    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   1
   TEAM................                         2     2             1
   Totals..............   26-52   4-16  19-25  10 26 36  21  75 18 16  6  8 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-24 45.8%   2nd Half: 15-28 53.6%   Game: 50.0%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  3-8  37.5%   2nd Half:  1-8  12.5%   Game: 25.0%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  7-8  87.5%   2nd Half: 12-17 70.6%   Game: 76.0%    4


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Officials: Gary Maxwell, Roger Ayers, Michael Stephens
Technical fouls: Virginia-Baker, Calvin; Brandenburg, John; TEAM.
Clemson-None.
Attendance: 8150
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Virginia......................   31   26  -   57
Clemson.......................   32   43  -   75

Points in the paint-VA 20,CU 38. Points off turnovers-VA 19,CU 22.
2nd chance points-VA 10,CU 18. Fast break points-VA 2,CU 4.
Bench points-VA 24,CU 43. Score tied-4 times. Lead changed-9 times.
Last FG-VA 2nd-00:26, CU 2nd-00:41.
Largest lead-VA by 5 1st-17:15, CU by 21 2nd-02:55.

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