Tigers bounced from ACC Tournament again


by - Senior Writer -
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Trevor Booker led the Tigers with 17 points, but was just 2-for-8 from the line. (photos: fotoman)

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Another one and done for the Clemson Tigers in the ACC Tournament.

Oliver Purnell’s squad struggled from the free throw line and failed to break the three-point barrier in the second half as the 11th-seeded North Carolina St. Wolfpack defeated the 6th-seeded Tigers 59-57 in the first round of the ACC Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum Thursday night.

The Tigers have lost in the first round four out of the last five years, and Purnell is just 3-7, with two of those coming in 2007 when the Tigers reached the ACC final.

“I thought they played a whale of a ballgame,” Purnell said of the Wolfpack. “They persevered and withstood the runs that we made. I thought our inability to score early in the game kept us from getting into our pressure and caused us some problems. We missed some shots and some free throws, and we were not able to get into the pace we wanted to.”

Seven times in the second half the Tigers had trimmed the Wolfpack lead to three points and had the chance to come down and cut the Pack lead to one or tie the score, and each time Clemson failed to convert, missing easy shots or turning the ball over.

“I thought our guys did a great job of hanging in there and battling, and making runs at them,” Purnell said. “But it seemed like every time we got close, N.C. State made a really big play or a really big basket. We’re obviously disappointed to be out in the first round of the ACC Tournament, and I told our guys we need to learn from that.”

Now the Tigers will sit back and wait on Sunday and the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee to find out their destination for the tournament that starts next week.

The Tigers had a Noel Johnson 3-pointer that cut State’s lead to 57-52 with 1:04 remaining, and Clemson held the Wolfpack on the defensive end, getting the ball back with 29 seconds remaining, but the Tigers missed three shots in succession before Andre Young finally hit two free throws with 12.5 seconds left to make it 57-54.

Clemson fouled State’s C.J. Williams with just over nine seconds left, and he hit both free throws to make it 59-54. Stitt then came down and nailed a 3-pointer with 4.1 seconds remaining to make it 59-57 Wolfpack. Clemson fouled Julius Mays with 2.9 seconds left on the clock, and he missed the front end of the 1-and-1, but the Tigers were unable to corral the rebound and leave Greensboro on a 2-game losing streak.

The Tigers endured another tough first half, committing nine turnovers and shooting just 3-for-9 from the free throw line [Trevor Booker was 1-for-6] as the Wolfpack jumped out to a 25-21 lead at the break.

The Wolfpack had an eight point lead twice in the half and had chances to take the lead into double digits, but Clemson would play enough defense to get the ball back. A 3-point play by David Potter with 47 seconds remaining in the half pulled Clemson to within 24-21, and N.C. State added a late free throw for the final score of the half.

Clemson senior David Potter scored just four points and was 0-for-4 from 3-point range, and he said it hurt to lose in the first round again as a senior.

“I really wanted to go out with a bang,” Potter said. “Especially being a senior. N.C. State just played a great game, and they outplayed us in some areas. We could not find a way to get those stops and get buckets. We just have to turn this disappointment into a positive and use this as momentum.”

The Tigers were just 10-for-18 from the free throw line (55.6%), and Booker, who led the Tigers with 17 points, was just 2-for-8 from the charity stripe. N.C. State out-rebounded the Tigers 34-25.

VISITORS: NC State 18-14
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
10 Gonzalez, Javier.... *  1-6    0-3    0-0    0  1  1   0   2  1  4  0  2  22
12 Degand, Farnold..... *  2-3    1-2    4-6    0  1  1   2   9  2  0  1  3  31
15 Wood, Scott......... *  2-2    2-2    0-0    0  1  1   4   6  0  2  0  1  20
23 Smith, Tracy........ *  9-15   0-0    1-2    3  5  8   2  19  1  3  1  3  37
31 Horner, Dennis...... *  1-6    0-3    0-0    1  3  4   1   2  1  1  1  0  20
01 Howell, Richard.....    4-4    0-0    1-2    3  8 11   1   9  0  3  0  1  21
14 Vandenberg, Jordan..    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   1   0  0  0  0  0   2
21 Williams, C.J.......    2-3    0-1    4-4    1  2  3   3   8  2  3  0  0  25
24 Mays, Julius........    2-5    0-0    0-1    1  2  3   0   4  1  3  0  1  19
30 Thomas, Johnny......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   1   0  0  0  0  0   3
   TEAM................                         1  1  2
   Totals..............   23-44   3-11  10-15  10 24 34  15  59  8 19  3 11 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-23 43.5%   2nd Half: 13-21 61.9%   Game: 52.3%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  1-6  16.7%   2nd Half:  2-5  40.0%   Game: 27.3%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  4-8  50.0%   2nd Half:  6-7  85.7%   Game: 66.7%    2


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: Clemson 21-10
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
02 Stitt, Demontez..... *  4-9    1-2    0-1    0  2  2   0   9  1  2  0  2  32
05 Smith, Tanner....... *  1-4    1-2    2-2    0  1  1   1   5  0  2  1  0  23
15 Potter, David....... *  1-6    0-4    2-3    0  1  1   1   4  2  1  0  3  26
35 Booker, Trevor...... *  7-11   1-2    2-8    3  5  8   5  17  1  5  0  1  35
45 Grant, Jerai........ *  2-4    0-0    2-2    6  0  6   4   6  2  0  1  1  23
01 Johnson, Noel.......    4-6    4-5    0-0    1  1  2   0  12  0  2  0  0  16
11 Young, Andre........    0-6    0-4    2-2    1  2  3   2   2  3  2  0  2  25
24 Jennings, Milton....    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   0   0  0  1  0  1   7
31 Booker, Devin.......    1-5    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   2   2  0  0  0  0  13
   TEAM................
   Totals..............   20-51   7-19  10-18  11 14 25  15  57  9 15  2 10 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half:  8-22 36.4%   2nd Half: 12-29 41.4%   Game: 39.2%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  2-7  28.6%   2nd Half:  5-12 41.7%   Game: 36.8%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  3-9  33.3%   2nd Half:  7-9  77.8%   Game: 55.6%    4


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Officials: Les Jones, Gary Maxwell, Tim Nestor
Technical fouls: NC State-None. Clemson-None.
Attendance: 23381
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
NC State......................   25   34  -   59
Clemson.......................   21   36  -   57

Points in the paint-ST 32,CU 26. Points off turnovers-ST 17,CU 24.
2nd chance points-ST 7,CU 12. Fast break points-ST 2,CU 7.
Bench points-ST 21,CU 16. Score tied-1 time. Lead changed-1 time.
Last FG-ST 2nd-01:24, CU 2nd-00:06.
Largest lead-ST by 10 2nd-12:54, CU by 3 1st-16:20.

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