Tigers' hot second half sinks Jackets


by - Senior Writer -
    |

CLEMSON – Some nights it seems like the basket has a lid over it, and you can't buy two points.

Then there are nights like Wednesday night.

Jerai Grant scored a career-high 20 points and the Clemson Tigers made scoring look easy as Clemson won its eighth straight game, beating Georgia Tech 87-62 on Wednesday night at Littlejohn Coliseum in a game delayed one day because of snow.

Clemson (13-4, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) finished with the highest shooting percentage (69.2) against an ACC opponent in 57 years of league play.

Grant made 5-of-6 shots 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.

“It was a great win for our guys,” Clemson head coach Brad Brownell said. “Our staff was fighting over who was the shooting coach tonight. In the second half, we just played really well. Things look even better when you shoot the ball in. But I thought we had good defensive intensity. We knocked a few balls loose and got some easy ones. Obviously, we made threes, which makes the game a lot easier.”

Clemson finished 27-of-39 from the field, including an astounding 9-of-9 on 3-pointers in the second half.

The Tigers led by one point, at 36-35, early in the second when Demontez Stitt started the flurry of long-range shots with a trey to put the Tigers up 39-35. Andre Young shortly after hit back-to-back from 3-point range and Tanner Smith added two of his own and the Tigers led 59-46.

Later in the half, Bryan Narcisse made just his third 3-pointer of the season and Clemson was ahead 67-50 and on their way to a season-high 11 3-pointers.

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.

Brownell said that his staff made good adjustments at the half.

“We told them that defense starts from inside out,” Brownell said. “Sometimes when you’re a pressing team or when we’re pressing the ball full-court, you can lose sight of that and get so worried about guys making jump shots that you forget to protect your basket. We didn’t talk too much more about anything offensively.

“I think momentum is a big key in any game or any sport. I think kids watch other guys making a shot or two and the basket looks bigger. When you make one, all of a sudden, the basket looks bigger to you. Then your buddy makes one and it looks like you can make one. The same thing is true when it’s not going in. That’s when you need big-time players to step up and make shots. Tonight, we just had it rolling really good.”

In the first half, the Tigers held Georgia Tech without a basket for nearly six minutes at one stretch and led 25-16. However, the Yellow Jackets fought back and led 33-32 on Mfon Udofia's bucket with 36 seconds to go. Udofia led the Jackets with 14 points off the bench.

With time running out in the half, however, Tanner Smith attempted a 3-point shot that was short of the basket, but Narcisse came out from underneath the backboard and grabbed the errant shot in mid-air and flipped it back over his head for the basket as time expired in the half with Clemson leading 34-33.

Five Tigers scored in double figures, with Stitt and Smith tossing in 16 points apiece. Devin Booker added 12 and Young 11.


Brownell said Young and Stitt are playing well as his team enters the rigors of ACC play.

“I think both kids are playing well. When Demontez is shooting like that, it makes him a more versatile player,” Brownell said. “He’s always been very good at attacking the basket. He’s starting to shoot the ball in pretty good rhythm. We’ve switched those guys, with Andre handling the ball a little bit more. We’re mixing them up to try and give teams different looks and work on different things with both kids. I think both are improving and playing with pretty good confidence right now.”

Georgia Tech head coach Paul Hewitt said the Tigers’ hot-shooting did his team in.

“In the second half, they started making shots and we just couldn’t stop them,” Hewitt said. “There were a couple of times early in the second half where we got turnovers and we had numbers and just didn’t convert. They played really well and just shot the ball really well. We had a couple of opportunities in the second half to get up on them but didn’t take advantage of them.

“I’ve never seen a team shoot like that in the second half. I saw a team shoot like that in the first half a couple of weeks ago when Northwestern went 10-for-12 from three. It’s disappointing because we should have learned our lesson from that game.”

Clemson returns to action next Tuesday when they travel to North Carolina.


NOTES:

Clemson shot 27-39 from the field for the game and that .692 percentage is the best in Clemson history against an ACC team. The previous record was .675 (27-40) at Virginia on Feb. 21, 1984. Virginia won that game 77-70 as the Cavs shot 58 percent from the field and committed only seven turnovers in that game. That Virginia team went on to the Final Four.

•Clemson shot 17-20 from the field in the second half. It is the second best field goal percentage for a half in Clemson history. On March 5, 1970, Clemson shot 10-11 (.909) from the field in the second half of a 34-33 loss to South Carolina in the first round of the ACC Tournament.

•Clemson’s .692 field goal percentage for the game is the fourth best overall in Clemson history and the best since Jan. 4, 1984. The Tigers shot .698 (44-63) in a win over St. Francis that night. The Clemson record is .701 (48-68) against Florida Southern on Feb. 28, 1976.

•Clemson made 11-14 three-point shots in tonight’s game and that .786 percentage is the second best three-point percentage in Clemson history for a game (given a min of 10 made three-point goals). The record is 11-13 (.846) by the Tigers against North Carolina on Jan. 31, 2004. That was Oliver Purnell’s first year as Clemson coach. This is Brad Brownell’s first year as Clemson head coach.

•Clemson entered tonight’s game shooting .338 on three-point shots, ninth best in the ACC.

•Clemson made 9-9 three-point shots in the second half tonight, a Clemson record for three-point goals in a perfect shooting half.

•One player who did not make a three-point goal in tonight’s game was Jerai Grant, but he did score a career high 20 points. His previous high was 19 against UNC Greensboro earlier this year.

•Clemson’s bench was out-scored by Georgia Tech’s bench tonight, 38-12, but Clemson’s starters outscored Georgia Tech’s starters, 75-24.

•Clemson tied its season high in scoring with 87 points. The Tigers also scored 87 against Western Carolina in Brad Brownell’s first game as head coach.

•Clemson has now made 58-69 free throws in ACC games, .841.

•School starts at Clemson on Thursday. The Tigers were a perfect 8-0 from the end of exam week until the start of the spring semester.

•This was Clemson’s largest victory margin against Georgia Tech since the 1998-99 season when the Tigers won 92-64 at Clemson on Terrell McIntyre’s Senior Night


VISITORS: Georgia Tech 7-8, 0-2
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
24 Holsey, Kammeon..... f  1-2    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   3   2  0  3  0  0  10
05 Miller, Daniel...... c  1-3    0-0    0-0    2  1  3   3   2  0  1  1  0  14
01 Shumpert, Iman...... g  2-7    0-2    4-4    0  2  2   3   8  3  2  0  2  32
03 Miller, Maurice..... g  0-3    0-1    0-0    0  0  0   2   0  0  2  0  1  10
41 Rice, Glen.......... g  5-15   2-3    0-0    3  1  4   2  12  2  2  0  0  30
00 Udofia, Mfon........    7-15   0-1    0-1    4  0  4   3  14  2  3  0  4  28
04 Foreman, Nick.......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   2
10 Storrs, Lance.......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   0   0  0  1  0  0   3
11 Oliver, Brian.......    4-9    1-5    2-2    0  1  1   3  11  0  1  0  1  23
14 Morris, Jason.......    3-4    3-4    0-0    1  2  3   2   9  1  2  1  1  24
33 Craig, Derek........    0-1    0-1    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   2
42 Hicks, Nate.........    2-3    0-0    0-1    3  1  4   2   4  1  1  1  2  22
   TEAM................                         4     4
   Totals..............   25-62   6-17   6-8   17  9 26  23  62  9 18  3 11 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 13-32 40.6%   2nd Half: 12-30 40.0%   Game: 40.3%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  3-8  37.5%   2nd Half:  3-9  33.3%   Game: 35.3%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  4-5  80.0%   2nd Half:  2-3  66.7%   Game: 75.0%    0


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: Clemson 13-4, 2-1
                          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  4-4    0-0    4-4    0  8  8   3  12  0  2  0  2  23
45 Grant, Jerai........ f  5-6    0-0   10-12   3  5  8   2  20  0  1  2  0  29
02 Stitt, Demontez..... g  4-7    3-4    5-6    1  0  1   3  16  7  2  0  2  32
05 Smith, Tanner....... g  5-8    3-3    3-4    0  5  5   1  16  1  3  0  2  31
11 Young, Andre........ g  4-7    3-5    0-0    0  1  1   0  11  3  2  0  0  32
03 Anderson, Zavier....    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   3   0  4  4  1  1  14
04 Baize, Jonah........    0-1    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   0   0  0  1  0  0   2
10 Baciu, Catalin......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   0   0  0  0  0  0   3
12 Stanton, Cory.......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   2   0  1  1  0  1   6
21 Narcisse, Bryan.....    3-3    1-1    0-0    1  0  1   2   7  0  1  3  0  13
22 Hopkins, DeAndre....    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  1  1  0   2
24 Jennings, Milton....    2-3    1-1    0-0    0  0  0   3   5  2  2  1  1  13
   TEAM................                            1  1
   Totals..............   27-39  11-14  22-26   5 22 27  19  87 18 20  8  9 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-19 52.6%   2nd Half: 17-20 85.0%   Game: 69.2%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  2-5  40.0%   2nd Half:  9-9  100 %   Game: 78.6%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 12-14 85.7%   2nd Half: 10-12 83.3%   Game: 84.6%    2


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Officials: Les Jones, Tim Nestor, William Humes
Technical fouls: Georgia Tech-None. Clemson-None.
Attendance: 10000
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Georgia Tech..................   33   29  -   62
Clemson.......................   34   53  -   87

Points in the paint-GT 32,CU 24. Points off turnovers-GT 18,CU 24.
2nd chance points-GT 16,CU 6. Fast break points-GT 4,CU 7.
Bench points-GT 38,CU 12. Score tied-3 times. Lead changed-9 times.
Last FG-GT 2nd-00:55, CU 2nd-01:51.
Largest lead-GT by 2 1st-18:58, CU by 29 2nd-01:51.

Rate this Story:
13 votes

Send Feedback to David Hood: Email | Comment
    |
Loading...

All In Cookout Insider: Darnell Jefferies steals the show over the no-shows

Clemson in top group for 4-star OL

Little League World Series hero commits to Clemson

Two Tigers named to Preseason Walter Camp Watch list

Mickey Conn: "We have some great playmakers coming" at the safety spot

Former All-Pro WR on Watson: "He has a great work ethic"

All In Cookout: Tigers host top prospects in signature summer recruiting event

Vic Beasley receives big-time endorsement deal

Marvel releases comic book cover featuring Clemson
Sign Up for E-Mail News Alerts
Features
Updates
Daily Digest