Clemson to Play Host to East Tennessee State in Mastercard NIT


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Clemson, SC-Clemson will play host to East Tennessee State in the first round of the Mastercard NIT on Wednesday, March 14 at 6:00 PM at Littlejohn Coliseum. The contest will be televised live on ESPNU.

The Clemson vs. ETSU winner will face the winner of the Mississippi vs. Appalachian State game on March 19 at the site of
the highest winning seed. That means Clemson would play host to a
second round game if it defeats East Tennessee State.

Tickets for the Clemson vs. East Tennessee State game will be available at the Clemson ticket office on Monday. Fans may also purchase tickets on Clemson's athletic website, clemsontigers.com, or by calling the ticket office at 1-800-CLEMSON. All seating for the NIT is general admission. Tickets are priced at $10 for adults and
$4 for students 18 years of age and under. All Clemson students will also be able to purchase a $4 ticket.

Clemson is the number-one seed in the South Regional of the Mastercard NIT, while East Tennessee State is the number-eight seed.
All eight teams in the South Regional have at least 20 wins this year and 25 of the 32 teams in the entire field have at least 20 wins.
Other first round pairings in the South bracket are San Diego State at Missouri State and South Alabama at Syracuse.

This will be the seventh meeting between Clemson and East
Tennessee State, the third in the last four years. Clemson holds a
6-0 lead in the series. All six of the previous meetings have taken place at Clemson. The first meeting took place in 1973-74. Clemson won the last meeting last year on December 9, 2006 when the Tigers were victorious at Clemson, 80-72. Cliff Hammonds led the Tigers
with 21 points. The Tigers won a 100-86 overtime contest in
2003-04, Oliver Purnell's first year at Clemson.

East Tennessee State enters the game with a 24-9 record.
They were the regular season champion of the Atlantic Sun Conference and lost in the finals of the conference tournament to Belmont.
Their non-conference competition included games with Auburn, Vanderbilt and Tennessee.

East Tennessee State is led in scoring by Courtney Pilgrim, a 6-0 guard from Memphis, TN who averages 17.8 points per game. He is a 37 percent three-point shooter. Brad Nuckles is a 6-9 senior from Council, VA who averages 11.2 points per game and is shooting 51.3 percent from the field. Mike Smith, a 6-6 freshman forward, is also a double digit scorer with an 11.1 average.

Clemson enters the Mastercard NIT with a 21-10 record, the most wins by a Clemson team since the 1996-97 season. The Tigers have five players in double figures, led by K.C. Rivers who has a
13.2 average. James Mays is second in scoring with a 12.5 average, and leads the team in rebounding at 6.5 per game.
Vernon Hamilton is at 12.3 scoring per game, while Cliff Hammonds is
at 11.5. Hammonds leads the ACC in assist/turnover ratio at 2.74.
Freshman Trevor Booker leads the team in field goal percentage at
.601 and in blocked shots with 69. He is also contributing 10.1 points per game, including a team best 18 points in the ACC Tournament game against Florida State.

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