Clemson Pulls Its Biggest Upset Ever


by - Correspondent -
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Tigers celebrate a huge win with just seconds left to go in the game.

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CLEMSON - This was the last thing anyone expected in Clemson on Sunday
afternoon.


But with time running out in Clemson's game against North Carolina, head
coach Larry Shyatt ran into the stands to find his wife Pam and gave her a
hug.


"We didn't talk this morning about what we were going to do if we won," said
Shyatt.


Clemson, ranked No. 142 in the latest Sagarin rankings, upset No. 1 North
Carolina, 75-65 in front of 11,200 at Littlejohn Coliseum.


Four days after a humbling 34-point loss at N.C. State, Clemson (11-14
overall, 2-10 Atlantic Coast Conference) pulled off its first win against a
No. 1 team in 21 years. Clemson had lost eight straight games by mostly
large margins and by all accounts of the past few days should have been
headed for problems against the Tar Heels (21-3, 11-1).


The team met for much of the last few days airing out problems between the
players.


"This is a new feeling at maybe an unlikely time against maybe an unlikely
team," said Shyatt. "The last two days have not been very good. We had a lot
of Is and me's and problems that have surfaced because they're symptomatic
of losing. But I guess there's not a better way perhaps to get yourself out
of that position than to earn a win against a well coached team."


Clemson forced the Tar Heels to take outside shots, which the Tar Heels were
obviously uncomfortable taking. North Carolina came into the game last in
the league in 3-pointers taken.


"They changed defenses on us quite a bit and we did not do a very good job
of adjusting to what they were doing defensively," said North Carolina coach
Matt Doherty. "When we played against them in Chapel Hill we were able to
hit some shots that forced them to do some things defensively that they did
not want to do."


Tiger fans celebrate after the game.


Clemson lost to UNC by 27 in Chapel Hill a month ago. Early in Sunday's game
it appeared the Tar Heels would be able to solve Clemson's defense again.
They hit five 3-pointers in the first nine minutes and took a 20-14 lead
after a basket by Jason Capel with 10:41 left in the half.


North Carolina hit three of 19 3-point attempts the rest of the game.
Clemson trailed by five at the half and Will Solomon, who sat out the first
three minutes because he skipped a class, pulled Clemson ahead early in the
second half.


Solomon, who finished with 26 points, hit four 3-pointers in the first six
minutes of the half. After Jamar McKnight gave Clemson the lead with a
reverse lay-up, Solomon hit a 3-pointer over Brian Morrison from the top of
the key with 14:30 left in the game to give Clemson a 47-43 lead.


Thomas Nagys hit just his second 3-pointer of the season to give Clemson a
52-45 lead with 10:05 left. Tony Stockman gave Clemson a 10-point lead
(59-49) on a 3-pointer with 7:14 left.


The Tar Heels pulled within two (60-58) on a dunk by Brendan Haywood with
3:47 left. However, the Tar Heels never were able to regain the lead.
After a put-back by Jason Capel with 2:30 left, North Carolina scored just
once more. Stockman hit the biggest shot of the game when he pulled up from
the top of the key and hit a 3-pointer with 44 seconds left to give Clemson
a 69-62 lead.


A 5-footer and a free throw by Joseph Forte with 40 seconds left were the
only points North Carolina could manage in the final 2:30. Clemson's Edward
Scott hit four free throws and Solomon added two in the final minute to
preserve the win and give Shyatt a few moments away from what had heretofore
been a season full of frustration.


"We have been learning some lessons during the losses and felt sooner or
later we would grab a big one," he said.


 NORTH CAROLINA (65)

fg ft rb
min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp
Capel 37 6-14 1-2 6-12 2 4 16
Lang 15 0-3 0-0 1-4 1 3 0
Haywood 32 7-10 2-6 4-8 2 2 16
Curry 26 1-6 0-0 0-2 4 2 3
Forte 30 6-19 4-5 1-1 2 2 16
Morrison 24 2-7 0-1 0-5 4 2 6
Owens 17 2-5 0-0 0-1 0 0 6
Peppers 19 1-1 0-1 2-5 0 2 2
_______________________________________________
TOTALS 200 25-65 7-15 14-38 15 17 65
_______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.385, FT-.467. 3-Point Goals:
8-26, .308 (Capel 3-9, Curry 1-4, Forte 0-4,
Morrison 2-5, Owens 2-4). Team rebounds: 3.
Blocked shots: 2 (Haywood 2). Turnovers: 7 (Curry
3, Morrison 2, Capel, Peppers). Steals: 2 (Forte,
Morrison).

CLEMSON (75)
fg ft rb
min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp
Hobbs 26 3-4 0-0 3-8 0 2 6
Clifton 5 0-1 0-0 1-1 1 0 0
Henderson 13 2-4 0-0 2-6 0 3 4
Scott 34 2-7 4-4 0-4 4 2 9
Stockman 35 6-13 0-0 0-3 2 2 16
Solomon 25 9-21 3-3 0-4 3 4 26
Mcknight 17 4-7 0-1 2-5 0 0 8
Braddick 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Nagys 18 2-4 0-0 0-6 2 3 5
Bains 4 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Allenspach 20 0-3 1-2 1-3 1 2 1
_______________________________________________
TOTALS 200 28-65 8-10 9-40 13 18 75
_______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.431, FT-.800. 3-Point Goals:
11-30, .367 (Clifton 0-1, Scott 1-4, Stockman
4-9, Solomon 5-12, Mcknight 0-2, Nagys 1-2). Team
rebounds: 4. Blocked shots: 1 (Stockman).
Turnovers: 7 (Solomon 3, Allenspach, Henderson,
Hobbs, Stockman). Steals: 5 (Bains 2, Stockman 2,
Scott).
__________________________________
North Carolina 35 30 - 65
Clemson 30 45 - 75
__________________________________
Technical fouls: North Carolina 1 (Haywood).
Clemson 1 (Solomon). A: 11,200. Officials: Mike
Wood, Rick Hartzell, Michael Kitts.

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