CLEMSON - Littlejohn Coliseum passed a safety inspection in order to get
game-ready last Friday.
Sunday night, it passed the real test.
Though the outer arena remains a muddy mess, none of the dirt made its way
onto the playing floor as it did during last season's Maryland game. Inside,
a cleaning crew working around the clock alleviated most of the dust problems
prevalent in the days leading up to the game.
The only noticeable areas of dirt buildup were on the baseline out of bounds
on both ends of the floor.
In fact, the only inconvenience for those inside the coliseum was an
improperly working scoreboard.
The university good-naturedly poked fun at itself over the ongoing
renovations to Littlejohn. Each member of the sellout crowd received a
plastic "hard hat", complete with a tiger paw on the front.
The Blue Devils became just the second team this season to shoot 50 percent
or better from the field against Clemson.
Coastal Carolina hit the mark exactly in the Tigers' previous outing. Before
that, Maine's 45-percent effort on Dec. 7 had been the best effort from a
Duke finished the night shooting 52 percent from the floor, including 47
percent (11-of-23) from the 3-point line.
- Sunday's win was Duke's 14th straight over the Tigers. Larry Shyatt is now
0-10 as Clemson's head coach vs. the Blue Devils.
- Clemson's recent improvement at the free throw line continued Sunday. After
a shaky start, the Tigers rebounded to shoot 22-of-29 (76 percent) from the
line. Ed Scott was 9-of-11, while Tomas Nagys was 7-of-9.
- Clemson also won the rebounding battle, 38-28. The Tigers hit the offensive
boards hard, beating Duke 18-10 in that category.
- Of course, one reason for the impressive offensive rebounding totals was
poor shooting. The Tigers missed a number of easy shots in the paint, and
finished the night just 41 percent (24-of-58) from the field.