JUCO Transfer Leads Tigers Over WCU, 87-52

by - Correspondent -
Jamar McKnight scored 12 points in 14 minutes to lead Clemson to a, 87-52 win over WCU.

CLEMSON -- Some things in life are overrated - a home run, the three-pointer and the Dean Dome.

Add tape study to that list.

Clemson coach Larry Shyatt didn't see any tape of Western Carolina. It didn't matter. Western Carolina coach Steve Shurina saw tape on Clemson and when Jamar McKnight entered the game for Clemson it meant nothing.

McKnight, a junior college transfer who hadn't played for Clemson this season, scored 12 points in 14 minutes to lead Clemson (4-1) to a, 87-52 win over WCU (1-5) in front of 3,000 at Littlejohn Coliseum on Saturday.

"I looked over at my assistants and said, 'Who the hell was that?'," said Shurina. "We didn't know if he was a driver or a shooter. We hadn't seen him."

The tape would have meant little to Shyatt, whose team easily outmatched Western Carolina. Shyatt's main concern was a repeat of Clemson's unemotional performance against The Citadel a week ago.

"Last Saturday we didn't rise to the emotional challenge after paying Seton Hall," he said. "We were out-beaten to balls and out-rebounded. Looking back, that game might have helped us. Today's start was helped out by the start we had last Saturday."

Clemson scored just one basket in the first four minutes. "We had good balance in the first five minutes," said Shyatt. "I like it a lot better when we hit the shots."

Pasha Bains hit a pair of 3-pointers and a lay-up by Pasha Bains gave Clemson a 10-8 lead. It didn't take Clemson too much longer to put the game away.

Clemson went on a 16-0 run midway through the first half that, in effect, put the game out of reach.

Adam Allenspach, who otherwise struggled, started the run with a free throw with 11:56 left in the half. He scored on a lay-up less than a minute later.

He hit a 17-footer during the run, while Ed Scott hit a 17-footer and two free throws as well. Chris Hobbs capped the run with a 3-point play with 6:54 left in the half to give Clemson a 35-9 lead.

Allenspach took himself out of the game late in the half with what they doctors called a strained muscled in his back.

Clemson led 49-28 at the half and extended the lead midway through the second half with a 17-6 run.

The Tigers led 64-38 with 12:40 left in the game when Thomas Nagys hit a jumper from the top of the key. Consecutive fast break lay-ups by Hobbs, Ray Henderson and Will Solomon gave Clemson a 77-44 lead with 7:28 left in the game. Jamar McKnight capped the run with two free throws with 6:40 left in the game to give the Tigers an 81-46 lead.

Solomon also scored 12 while Scott added 11 to go along with McKnight's 12 points.

"I take full responsibility for where Jamar McKnight has not been," said Shyatt. "I did not want him to play in a position until he could succeed. His finger is better and he is learning more of what we want."

Shyatt might want to hide this tape, though.

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