Georgia Tech Cools Off Tigers

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ATLANTA –Jarrett Jack had 18 points and B.J. Elder added 17 as Georgia Tech kept their NCAA hopes alive by defeating an improving Clemson Tigers team 64-56 on Saturday in front of 9,191 fans at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.

Despite being held without a field goal in the final 7:44 and only making 9 of 24 free throws, the Tigers (15-14, 5-11 Atlantic Coast Conference) found themselves only down 61-56 with the ball with 1:18 remaining. Ford missed a short turnaround in the lane. Then Shawan Robinson had a shot blocked and Olu Babalola missed a four-footer that Luke Schenscher pulled down to end any chance for the Tigers to pull out the win over the Yellow Jackets (17-10, 8-8).

“This is an excellent team (Georgia Tech) and if we can elevate our play just a notch, play a little smarter, make some free throws, then we can make some things happen,” said Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell. “Give Georgia Tech credit, they hung in there when we made a run at them and made the plays they had to in order to win."

Sharrod Ford was the only Clemson player to score in double figures. He led Clemson with 22 points while Cliff Hammonds had 9.

“Today he (Ford) used his ability to run and get out in transition. When he didn't get the layup, he got deep position, so when he got the ball, he's an excellent finisher,” said Georgia Tech head coach Paul Hewitt. “Nine-for-14 from the field, most people don't shoot that well on Luke. He did an excellent job."

Schenscher had 11 points and 15 rebounds for the Jackets. Overall, Georgia Tech outrebounded the Tigers 46-33.

Jack's 16-footer from the left baseline put Georgia Tech ahead to stay at 45-43 with 11 minutes left.

The Yellow Jackets have won five straight and nine of 11 over Clemson. With the loss, Clemson failed in its attempt to be the first Clemson team to win four ACC games in a row since the 1996-97 season.

"We played good,” said Purnell. “There's no question we played good in February and coming into March. We had to play good to hang in there with them. We have to play better than we did today when we play in the tournament."

The Tigers will be seeded either 9th or 10th in the ACC tournament and will open against Miami, North Carolina State or Maryland.

CLEMSON (15-14) - Babalola 3-10 1-3 8, Perry 3-5 2-3 8, Ford 9-14 4-10 22, Hamilton 1-6 0-2 2, Hammonds 3-10 0-0 9, Moore 2-8 1-2 6, Robinson 0-4 0-0 0, Akingbala 0-0 0-0 0, Mays 0-1 1-4 1. Totals 21-58 9-24 56.

GEORGIA TECH (17-10) - Muhammad 1-4 1-2 3, McHenry 1-1 0-0 2, Schenscher 5-10 1-3 11, Elder 7-15 2-3 17, Bynum 3-8 0-0 7, Jack 6-10 6-7 18, Dickey 1-2 0-0 2, West 1-2 0-0 2, Morrow 0-5 0-0 0, Smith 1-2 0-2 2. Totals 26-59 10-17 64.

Halftime — Georgia Tech 35-28.

3-Point Goals — Clemson 5-18 (Hammonds 3-6, Babalola 1-3, Moore 1-6, Hamilton 0-1, Robinson 0-2), Georgia Tech 2-15 (Bynum 1-4, Elder 1-6, Jack 0-1, Smith 0-1, Morrow 0-3).

Fouled Out — Perry.

Rebounds — Clemson 33 (Ford 6), Georgia Tech 46 (Schenscher 15).

Assists — Clemson 16 (Hamilton 8), Georgia Tech 12 (Bynum, Jack 5).

Total Fouls — Clemson 26, Georgia Tech 17.

Attendance — 9,191.

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