Tigers miss on opportunity for big road win in Atlanta


by - Senior Writer -
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Booker led the Tigers with 19 points and nine rebounds. (Photos: Todd Kirkland/Icon SMI)

ATLANTA, GA – In a year in which every ACC victory will be critical, chances to get big victories against ranked opponents on the road will be few and far between, and the Clemson Tigers just missed on such an opportunity Tuesday night.

Georgia Tech’s hit Zachery Peacock hit two foul shots with 3.2 seconds remaining, and a last-ditch Clemson went for naught as the 19th-ranked Yellow Jackets knocked off the 17th-ranked Tigers 66-64.


"I thought it was a whale of a basketball game, and it really is a shame that we didn't win," said Clemson head basketball coach Oliver Purnell. "I thought our guys battled and hung in there... Our guys don't have anything to hang their heads about, they came on the road in the ACC against a hot team and we put ourselves in a position to win and it just didn't happen."

Georgia Tech (14-4, 3-2 ACC) is off to its best start since 2006-07 and has won back-to-back games over ranked teams for the first time since 2004. The Yellow Jackets have beaten three Top 25 teams over an 11-day span, also knocking off Duke and North Carolina before edging the Tigers (15-4, 3-2).

Each team squandered excellent chances in the final seconds with turnovers. However, Tech inbounded to Peacock with 5.1 seconds left and he drove toward the free throw line and lost control of the ball, but the officials called a foul on Trevor Booker.

Peacock then hit both free throws on night that saw the Jackets make just 11 of 22 at the line. The Tigers were just 10-for-20 from the charity stripe on a horrendous free throw shooting night for both teams.

Georgia Tech got big nights from their big men - Derrick Favors had 17 points and 14 rebounds, while Gani Lawal contributed 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Booker put the Tigers ahead 64-62 on a pair of foul shots with 1:25 left, but D'Andre Bell knocked down a couple of free throws to tie it up again with 1:09 to go.

Then things got really ugly for both teams. With a six-second difference on the shot clock and the game clock, the Jackets’ Mfon Udofia drove toward the lane, fell down and was called for walking. Clemson had a chance to set up for a winning shot, but Demontez Stitt, playing on a sprained ankle, took off toward the basket and had the ball bounce out of bounds off his left leg.

The Jackets then won the contest on Peacocks’ free throws. The Tigers called timeout to set up an inbounds pass, but the pass was knocked away around midcourt and never got off another shot.


"We wanted to get Demontez [Stitt] on the fly over the top, and I thought we had a chance to get it in there but the pass was just a little bit off," said Purnell. "There was a loose ball scramble and if we had come up with it, we had a guy open at the basket. It was tough sledding with three seconds to go, but we wanted Demontez [Stitt] to take it out, throw it to Andre [Young] out of bounds and then we throw it over the top. Maybe he just didn't have enough juice to run it down."

Booker led the Tigers with 19 points and nine rebounds, while Stitt and Tanner Smith each added 10 points. David Potter continued to struggle, hitting just one of six shots. The Tigers were out-rebounded by the bigger Jackets by a 48-40 count.


Clemson 64


Total 3-point Rebounds
## Player p fgm-fga fgm-fga ftm-fta off-def tot pf tp a to blk stl min
15  Potter, David  1-6  1-2  0-0  0-2  20 
35  Booker, Trevor  8-12  0-1  3-4  2-7  19  35 
45  Grant, Jerai  1-4  0-0  0-1  1-2  16 
02  Stitt, Demontez  4-10  0-1  2-2  2-2  10  36 
05  Smith, Tanner  3-11  3-5  1-2  4-2  10  24 
01  Johnson, Noel  1-8  0-2  1-2  4-1  17 
11  Young, Andre  3-6  2-4  0-0  0-1  24 
24  Jennings, Milton  1-5  0-0  0-0  3-4  14 
31  Booker, Devin  1-2  0-0  3-8  1-2  11 
32  Hill, Donte  1-1  0-0  0-1  0-0 
TM  TEAM  1-2 
  Totals..............  24-65  6-15  10-20  18-25  43  18  64  15  200 
36.9%  40.0%  50.0% 
Team summary: FG 3FG FT
1st Half:  12-29  3-9  2-6 
41.4%  33.3%  33.3% 
2nd Half:  12-36  3-6  8-14 
33.3%  50.0%  57.1% 


Georgia Tech 66


Total 3-point Rebounds
## Player p fgm-fga fgm-fga ftm-fta off-def tot pf tp a to blk stl min
14  Favors, Derrick  8-13  0-0  1-5  6-8  14  17  31 
31  Lawal, Gani  7-10  0-0  2-6  5-5  10  16  20 
00  Udofia, Mfon  0-4  0-2  1-2  0-1  19 
01  Shumpert, Iman  2-8  1-3  0-0  3-5  33 
13  Bell, D'Andre  2-7  0-3  3-4  2-2  27 
03  Miller, Maurice  0-0  0-0  0-0  0-0 
04  Foreman, Nick  0-0  0-0  0-0  0-0 
11  Oliver, Brian  2-11  1-7  0-0  1-1  15 
35  Peacock, Zachery  2-8  0-0  2-3  0-5  29 
41  Rice, Glen  3-5  1-2  2-2  3-1  21 
TM  TEAM  2-2 
  Totals..............  26-66  3-17  11-22  22-30  52  20  66  17  16  200 
39.4%  17.6%  50.0% 
Team summary: FG 3FG FT
1st Half:  15-32  1-7  4-8 
46.9%  14.3%  50.0% 
2nd Half:  11-34  2-10  7-14 
32.4%  20.0%  50.0% 


Score by Periods  1st   2nd   Total   
Clemson   29  35  64  Record: (15-4, 3-2) 
Georgia Tech   35  31  66  Record: (14-4, 3-2) 

Officials: Karl Hess, Joe Lindsey, John Cahill Technical fouls: Clemson-None. Georgia Tech-None. Attendance: 8738

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