Tar Heels Dominate Bickering Tigers, 87-69


by - Correspondent -
    |

CLEMSON - North Carolina's worst season in recent memory received something
of an unexpected boost Sunday night, while Clemson's psyche appears
dangerously close to the breaking point.


The Tar Heels, mired in eighth place in the Atlantic Coast Conference coming
into Sunday's game at Clemson, jumped over the Tigers into seventh with an
impressive 87-69 victory.


The 18-point final margin was somewhat deceiving. North Carolina led by as
many as 26 points late in the second half before spreading the floor and
running clock, and also giving up several easy baskets against the Tigers'
press in the waning moments.


The Tar Heels most recent trip into Littlejohn Coliseum proved to be
therapeutic, a direct contrast to their last visit. In Feb. 2001, North
Carolina was No. 1 in the country and riding an 18-game winning streak when
it was ambushed by Clemson on a Sunday evening. No such luck this time for
the Tigers (11-10, 2-6 Atlantic Coast Conference), who began the week with
aspirations of a .500 league record and ended it with a pair of disappointing
losses.


Worse, head coach Larry Shyatt said afterwards that heretofore unseen
internal problems surfaced during the game, problems which he said caught him
completely off guard.


"I've got to be honest. Not taking anything away from Carolina, because at
times they were brilliant, but this was all us," Shyatt said. "(The internal
problems) had never surfaced before. We will get those fixed. But we didn't
cover for each other offensively or defensively. This was our inability to
get along."


Shyatt refused to be specific about what transpired during the game, however
it could involve at least guards Tony Stockman and Ed Scott. At one point
early in the second half the two had words on the floor when Stockman pulled
up for a 3-point attempt in transition with Scott open in the right lane for
a possible layup.


Scott appeared irritated at Stockman's shot selection, and openly questioned
his running mate near midcourt during a stoppage in play. Both players spent
time on the bench in the second half, however the brief argument did not
appear to be the reason.


Shyatt said his players have been instructed not to discuss the issue, but
promised the matter would be handled "by the family."


"It's not something I'm proud of, but something I'm responsible for," he
said. "I like these characters, they're wonderful people. But there's
something there...family takes care of family and works things out. And we
will."


North Carolina (6-11, 2-5) did most of its damage from the guard spots.
Starters Adam Boone and Melvin Scott combined for 40 points, 14 rebounds,
seven assists and just one turnover. Boone's 23 points and Scott's 17 both
were career highs. Boone also set a career best with four 3-pointers, all in
the first half, including one that banked in from the right wing.


"We deserve some breaks. We've been through a lot this season," said UNC
coach Matt Doherty, whose team snapped a six-game losing streak. "There's
relief, joy, pride...a lot of emotion in that locker room. I'm proud of these
guys...a lot of teams would have folded in this situation."


Jamar McKnight led Clemson with 21 points, the only Tiger to reach double
figures.


Clemson, now losers of five straight, has six days to prepare for No. 1
Duke's Feb. 2 visit to Littlejohn. With the revelation that something isn't
right internally, Shyatt - and his team - would appear to be at a crossroads.


"That's a great way to phrase it," Shyatt said. "We've got a great
opportunity with eight games and the (ACC) tournament, and that's the way
I've always looked at it. We can be the team most talked about because we've
made the most improvement and we're really growing.


"But nobody's gonna feel sorry for you."

North Carolina (6-11; ACC: 2-5)	 45 	 42 	87
Clemson (11-10; ACC: 2-6)	 38 	 31 	69

North Carolina
PLAYER       	MIN	FGM-A	FTM-A	OFF	REB	AST	PF	PTS
J. Capel        27	3-7	0-0	0	5	4	4	7
W. Johnson      25	1-1	2-2	0	5	2	2	5
K. Lang         20	5-9	2-4	1	4	2	5	12
M. Scott        37	6-11	2-4	1	4	4	0	17
A. Boone        36	7-14	5-7	1	10	3	1	23
B. Morrison     2	0-1	0-0	0	0	0	0	0
J. Holmes       4	1-2	1-2	0	0	2	0	4
J. Williams     23	4-6	1-2	0	2	2	3	10
Everett   	2	1-1	0-0	0	0	0	0	2
B. Bersticker   24	3-4	1-2	2	7	0	4	7
Totals        	200	31-56	14-23	5	37	19	19	87
                       	.554	.690	 
TEAM REBS: None
TURNOVERS: 10 (Lang 4, Johnson 2, Morrison 2, Holmes, Scott)
BLOCKED SHOTS: 4 (Lang 2, Boone, Bersticker)
STEALS: 5 (Scott 2, Boone, Lang, Williams)
3-PT FGS: 11-24, .458 (Capel 1-5, Johnson 1-1, Scott 3-6, Boone 4-8, 
Morrison 0-1, Holmes 1-1, Williams 1-2)

Clemson
PLAYER  	MIN	FGM-A	FTM-A	OFF	REB	AST	PF	PTS
J. McKnight     32	7-16	5-7	2	4	0	4	21
C. Hobbs        19	3-8	1-2	1	3	0	3	7
R. Henderson    27	1-4	2-4	2	12	0	2	4
T. Stockman     30	3-11	0-0	1	3	1	0	8
E. Scott        37	3-10	1-2	1	3	8	4	7
T. Nagys        20	1-4	7-9	3	9	0	4	9
S. Ford         10	0-1	0-0	0	1	0	0	0
O. Babalola     4	1-2	0-0	0	1	0	0	3
C. Christie     9	3-5	0-0	1	1	1	0	6
D. Clifton      10	1-1	0-0	0	1	1	3	2
J. Douglas      2	1-1	0-0	0	0	0	0	2
Totals      	200	24-63	16-24	11	38	11	20	69
                   	.381	.667	 
TEAM REBS: 1
TURNOVERS: 10 (Scott 3, Hobbs 2, Nagys 2, Clifton, Ford, Stockman)
BLOCKED SHOTS: None
STEALS: 6 (Scott 2, Christie, Clifton, Hobbs, Mcknight)
3-PT FGS: 5-22, .227 (Mcknight 2-8, Stockman 2-7, Scott 0-4, 
Nagys 0-1, Babalola 1-1, Christie 0-1)

Technicals: None
Attendance: 10,000 

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