Tigers whip Winthrop, 102-66


by - Senior Writer -
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Jerai Grant used a strong first half to score 11 points. (photos: fotoman)

CLEMSON – Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell was not satisfied with his team’s effort during the early stages of last weekend’s win over UNC Greensboro, so he encouraged the Tigers to start stronger against Winthrop on Monday night.

His message was delivered loud and clear as the 19th-ranked Tigers opened an 18-point lead at the half, then opened up the second with a 29-9 run and routed the Eagles 102-66 at Littlejohn Coliseum, improving the Tigers to 4-0 as they head to Anaheim, California for the 76 Classic later this week.

“I was real pleased with our team’s approach and effort tonight,” Purnell said. “One of the things we wanted to do was come out strong tonight. I do not think we came out that strong against Greensboro, and we want to establish a habit of coming out strong, and we did that.

“We talked at the half about staying strong, and how Winthrop had come back from double-digit deficits twice in second halves and won, and obviously we couldn’t have started much better in the second half to put the game completely out of reach.”

The Tigers were led by senior Trevor Booker, who paced six Tigers in double figures with his 15 point, 11 rebound outing. David Potter, Noel Johnson and Andre Young each scored 12, while Jerai Grant used a strong first half to score 11 points. Tanner Smith rounded out the double figure scorers with 10 points.

The win was 30th consecutive victory in the month of November for the Tigers, who haven't lost in college basketball's opening month since a 79-70 defeat at future Atlantic Coast Conference member Boston College on Nov. 26, 2004.

The Tigers and Eagles played through a foul-filled first half, the teams combining for an amazing 30 total fouls (Winthrop 18 to Clemson’s 12). The Tigers took advantage of the slap-fest, however, hitting 18-of-24 foul shots in a half that saw them spring out to a 50-32 lead.

The Tigers had early leads of 10-4 and 22-11 before a 6-0 run propelled them to a 16-point cushion, at 38-22, on a Noel Johnson put-back with around six minutes left in the half.

The Eagles scored seven of the next 11 points to crawl to within 13 at 42-29, but Andre Young drained a three-pointer from 25 feet to push the lead to 18 at 47-29, and when Young hit one of two free throws with 9.8 seconds remaining, the Tigers had their biggest advantage of the first 20 minutes with a 50-30 lead.

The Tigers wasted no time in putting the game out of reach to start the second half, scoring the first 15 points of the half, all in the first 3:37 of the half, to roll out to a 65-32 lead. David Potter hit a three-pointer to extend the lead to 25, Booker had dunk 20 seconds later that ignited the Littlejohn crowd and pushed the lead to 27, and Booker’s steal and lay-in just over a minute later pushed the lead to 65-32.

Devin Booker’s dunk off of a David Potter pass at the 10:34 mark gave the Tigers their biggest lead of the night at 83-41, and the only drama the remainder of the contest would be whether Clemson could reach the 100-point plateau for the first time since Dec. 23, 2006, a 103-60 win over Western Carolina.

Walk-on Jonah Baize hit a 3-pointer to give the Tigers 99 points with 1:06 left, and then followed with another long-distance shot from the right corner with 11.5 seconds to go to break the century mark.

Winthrop head coach Randy Peele said he was disappointed in the effort of his team..

“I asked them after the game if they understand the team that they are playing for,” Peele said. “I don’t come to Clemson to get beat by 36. You can’t win if you give people second and third shots. Clemson shot 43% in the first half and 65% in the second. We couldn’t guard them and that is unacceptable.”

Young, who has provided a valuable outside scoring threat for Clemson so far this season, said the team understood what Purnell wanted and he felt like they delivered.

“That was our main focus, to come out and start strong and continue to play strong throughout the game,” Young said. “We wanted to have a defensive mindset, and that is going to lead to our offense, and that is what we did.”

Purnell said he was pleased with how his team has played in their first four games, but knows the competition is about to step up a notch as the Tigers head to California.

“We have tests coming up where we’ll find out where we are and where we need to go as a team,” Purnell said. “I think we are a pretty good basketball team, but we could play better. We need to focus on the details which will be exposed by other teams. We have to improve to beat the really good teams.”


VISITORS: Winthrop 2-2
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
05 Morgan, Matt........ f  4-6    0-0    2-2    2  1  3   4  10  0  1  2  0  29
33 Robinson, Mantoris.. f  0-0    0-0    2-2    1  1  2   4   2  1  3  0  1  22
15 Buechert, Andy...... c  2-3    0-0    0-3    0  3  3   3   4  0  2  0  0  12
04 Middleton, Reggie... g  2-10   0-1    1-3    0  1  1   2   5  2  5  0  2  19
21 Jones, Andre........ g  3-8    0-1    0-2    0  1  1   0   6  3  1  2  0  20
01 Davis, Raymond......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  1  0  2   4
02 Gamble, Gideon......    1-2    1-1    0-0    0  1  1   1   3  1  4  1  0  15
03 Burton, Justin......    4-8    0-0    5-6    1  0  1   0  13  4  3  0  2  19
11 King, Reggie........    0-0    0-0    4-4    0  0  0   0   4  0  0  0  1   2
22 Dreher, Robbie......    2-4    1-1    0-0    1  0  1   4   5  0  2  0  1  17
23 DeWitt, Chad........    1-2    0-0    2-2    1  0  1   0   4  0  0  0  1   2
30 Malcolm, Chris......    3-6    0-0    2-5    3  4  7   4   8  0  0  0  0  22
43 Valentine, George...    1-2    0-0    0-1    1  3  4   4   2  1  4  0  0  17
   TEAM................                         1  2  3
   Totals..............   23-51   2-4   18-30  11 17 28  26  66 12 26  5 10 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-24 41.7%   2nd Half: 13-27 48.1%   Game: 45.1%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  1-2  50.0%   2nd Half:  1-2  50.0%   Game: 50.0%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 11-19 57.9%   2nd Half:  7-11 63.6%   Game: 60.0%    5


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: Clemson 4-0
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
15 Potter, David....... f  4-6    3-3    1-2    0  2  2   4  12  3  2  0  2  19
35 Booker, Trevor...... f  7-14   0-0    1-4    5  6 11   1  15  1  2  1  3  22
45 Grant, Jerai........ c  3-3    0-0    5-8    4  2  6   3  11  1  1  2  2  18
02 Stitt, Demontez..... g  3-9    0-2    1-3    2  2  4   0   7  4  2  0  1  22
05 Smith, Tanner....... g  4-7    0-2    2-2    2  1  3   3  10  3  0  1  2  17
01 Johnson, Noel.......    3-8    1-3    5-6    3  1  4   1  12  2  3  1  1  20
03 Anderson, Zavier....    1-1    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   2   2  0  1  0  0   2
04 Baize, Jonah........    2-2    2-2    0-0    0  0  0   0   6  0  0  0  0   2
10 Baciu, Catalin......    1-1    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   0   2  0  1  0  2   5
11 Young, Andre........    2-4    2-3    6-8    1  1  2   3  12  3  2  0  1  23
21 Narcisse, Bryan.....    0-1    0-1    0-0    0  0  0   2   0  2  2  1  0   6
24 Jennings, Milton....    2-5    0-1    0-0    2  2  4   1   4  1  0  0  0  14
31 Booker, Devin.......    3-5    0-0    0-0    0  4  4   1   6  0  0  0  2  15
32 Hill, Donte.........    0-0    0-0    3-4    0  0  0   2   3  0  1  0  0  13
55 Petrukonis, Karolis.    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   2
   TEAM................                         1  2  3
   Totals..............   35-66   8-17  24-37  20 24 44  23 102 20 17  6 16 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 15-35 42.9%   2nd Half: 20-31 64.5%   Game: 53.0%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  2-7  28.6%   2nd Half:  6-10 60.0%   Game: 47.1%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 18-24 75.0%   2nd Half:  6-13 46.2%   Game: 64.9%    7


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Officials: Les Jones, Brian Dorsey, Steve Coleman
Technical fouls: Winthrop-Valentine, George; TEAM. Clemson-None.
Attendance: 10000
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Winthrop......................   32   34  -   66
Clemson.......................   50   52  -  102

Points in the paint-WU 26,CU 48. Points off turnovers-WU 17,CU 28.
2nd chance points-WU 12,CU 23. Fast break points-WU 6,CU 8.
Bench points-WU 39,CU 47. Score tied-1 time. Lead changed-1 time.
Last FG-WU 2nd-00:37, CU 2nd-00:16.
Largest lead-WU by 2 1st-19:39, CU by 42 2nd-10:34.

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