Booker brothers combine to help stop Western Carolina


by - Senior Writer -
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CLEMSON – The Western Carolina Catamounts saw too much of the Booker brothers on Tuesday night.

Clemson’s duo of Trevor and Devin Booker scored 14 points during a 19-0 Clemson run in the second half, turning a 56-51 lead into a 75-51 advantage, helping to lift the 23rd-ranked Tigers to a 79-57 victory over the Catamounts at Littlejohn Coliseum, improving the Tigers to 11-2 overall.

“We feed off each other,” Trevor said of himself and Devin. “We try to bring energy to the team and we did a great job of that tonight. He tried to outshine me and I couldn’t let that happen. I think he thought the same thing, so we just kept battling.”

Trevor finished with 31 points and seven rebounds, while Devin added 10 points and six rebounds, but Devin said he wasn’t trying to outshine his older sibling.

“I wasn’t trying to outshine him, I just tried to go out and work hard,” Devin said. “Coach said he wanted someone to step up, and I went into the game and gave it to him the way he wanted. It was fun, because I was in a groove doing one thing after another, playing offense and then defense.”

The Catamounts, who came in with a win over Louisville in their previous outing, were as good as advertised through the game’s first 10 minutes. Western’s Harouna Mutombo scored the first 12 points of the game for his team, which held an early 6-0 lead and then and then held their last lead of the night at 23-21 on a 3-pointer by Brandon Giles at the 7:01 mark.

The Tigers, who committed 11 turnovers in the opening half, then settled down, with Trevor Booker scoring eight consecutive points to send Clemson to a 31-26 lead. Western trimmed the lead to 31-29 just two minutes later, but Andre Young’s 3-pointer started a run of 11 straight Tiger points, and the Tigers ended the half with a 43-32 lead.

The Catamounts used an early run in the second half to cut into the Clemson lead, with Richie Gordon’s layup with 13:32 remaining pulling Western Carolina to within four at 49-45. Brandon Giles hit a layup with 8:48 remaining to make the score 56-51, and from there the Bookers took over.

The Catamounts missed 10 straight 3-pointers during the run, and by the time Mutombo, who led the Catamounts with 19 points, hit a 3-pointer with just over a minute left, the game was already decided.

Trevor had six points and two rebounds during that stretch, while Devin had eight points and three rebounds. Together, the brothers also managed four thunderous dunks to the delight of the crowd.

“It certainly meant a lot right there,” Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell said of the duo. “Trevor scored all night long, but Devin kind of carried us there for that three or four minute stretch. It’s good that we converted, and that run sealed the deal. I stress about playing for each other, and when they’re on the floor together, they play for one another. I think that the guys play better like that than when they’re playing as individuals.

“I think there is a little bit of the chemistry there [between the Bookers]. We have seen flashes of that. We like to see our guys playing for one another, and those two, when they are on the floor together, automatically bring that sense of family feeling. Tonight was a good example of that right there.”

The Tigers have four straight wins, all by double digits, and Purnell said he was pleased with how his team is playing right now.

“We are playing pretty good right now,” Purnell said. “Offensively, we did what we wanted; defensively, we didn’t rebound like we wanted but we got that cleaned up. It was a good win going into Christmas. We got off to a rough start and didn’t have as much focus, but we got in the fight, which was important. We got the pace going the way we wanted 10-12 minutes before the half. It was a dogfight down the stretch; we missed free throws, which was tough down the line. We were able to limit their big kid and played good defense.”

The Tigers return to action in one week when they host South Carolina State at Littlejohn.


Note on shooting performance vs. Western Carolina


Tonight Clemson shot 60.4 percent against Western Carolina, which followed the 60 percent clip the Tigers shot against College of Charleston on Saturday. It was the first time since the 1980-81 season the Tiger program produced back-to-back 60 percent shooting efforts. That year, Clemson actually did it four games in a row. Clemson shot 66.7% versus Furman on 1/31/81, 61% versus NC State on 2/4/81, 62.2% versus South Carolina on 2/8/81, and then 60.7% versus Maryland on 2/12/81.


VISITORS: Western Carolina 10-2
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
02 Russell, Kendall.... f  1-3    0-0    0-0    2  2  4   2   2  2  1  0  0  15
50 Gordon, Richie...... f  4-6    0-1    0-0    0  1  1   5   8  1  1  0  1  18
01 Giles, Brandon...... g  5-21   1-8    1-2    3  1  4   2  12  4  2  0  1  30
13 Waginer, Brigham.... g  2-8    1-7    0-0    1  3  4   3   5  2  3  0  2  33
22 Mutombo, Harouna.... g  8-12   3-4    0-0    1  3  4   1  19  2  4  0  1  36
04 Cole, Keaton........    0-1    0-1    0-0    0  0  0   1   0  1  0  0  0   8
11 Phillip, Anthony....    1-5    1-3    0-0    1  2  3   0   3  2  1  0  0  15
31 Gailliard, Adrian...    1-1    0-0    0-2    3  1  4   5   2  0  1  0  0  13
34 Gallagher, Blake....    0-0    0-0    0-0    1  0  1   1   0  0  0  0  1   7
42 Robinson, Jake......    1-6    1-6    3-3    0  2  2   1   6  2  2  0  0  25
   TEAM................                         2  2  4
   Totals..............   23-63   7-30   4-7   14 17 31  21  57 16 15  0  6 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-28 42.9%   2nd Half: 11-35 31.4%   Game: 36.5%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  4-14 28.6%   2nd Half:  3-16 18.8%   Game: 23.3%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  4-7  57.1%   2nd Half:  0-0   0.0%   Game: 57.1%   1,1


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: Clemson 11-2
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
05 Smith, Tanner....... f  4-8    1-2    4-6    2  2  4   2  13  2  2  1  1  28
35 Booker, Trevor...... f 11-13   1-1    8-17   1  6  7   1  31  1  3  4  2  31
45 Grant, Jerai........ c  1-1    0-0    0-0    1  2  3   1   2  0  1  5  0  14
01 Johnson, Noel....... g  0-1    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   1   0  0  1  0  0  12
02 Stitt, Demontez..... g  4-10   1-3    1-2    1  4  5   2  10  8  4  0  2  31
03 Anderson, Zavier....    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0  0+
10 Baciu, Catalin......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   1
11 Young, Andre........    1-3    1-2    0-0    0  3  3   0   3  1  1  0  1  26
15 Potter, David.......    1-5    1-4    0-1    0  3  3   2   3  3  1  0  3  28
21 Narcisse, Bryan.....    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   0   0  0  0  0  0   2
24 Jennings, Milton....    3-3    0-0    1-2    2  0  2   0   7  0  1  0  0  12
31 Booker, Devin.......    4-4    0-0    2-4    2  4  6   2  10  0  1  0  0  14
32 Hill, Donte.........    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   1
   TEAM................                         1  2  3
   Totals..............   29-48   5-12  16-32  10 28 38  11  79 15 15 10  9 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 16-28 57.1%   2nd Half: 13-20 65.0%   Game: 60.4%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  2-7  28.6%   2nd Half:  3-5  60.0%   Game: 41.7%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  9-17 52.9%   2nd Half:  7-15 46.7%   Game: 50.0%    7


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Officials: Bryan Kersey, Raymond Styons, William Humes
Technical fouls: Western Carolina-None. Clemson-None.
Attendance: 8485
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Western Carolina..............   32   25  -   57
Clemson.......................   43   36  -   79

Points in the paint-WCU 26,CU 42. Points off turnovers-WCU 14,CU 22.
2nd chance points-WCU 7,CU 8. Fast break points-WCU 2,CU 14.
Bench points-WCU 11,CU 23. Score tied-4 times. Lead changed-9 times.
Last FG-WCU 2nd-00:23, CU 2nd-00:43.
Largest lead-WCU by 6 1st-18:42, CU by 24 2nd-01:56.

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