Tiger Cagers Continue Strong Start By Whipping PC

by - Senior Writer -

Clemson's Trevor Booker continued a strong start to his junior season, scoring 25 points and grabbing nine rebounds, as Oliver Purnell's Tigers improved to 7-0 with a 79-58 victory over the Presbyterian Blue Hose at Littlejohn Coliseum on Friday night.

Booker owned the lane for the Tigers, hitting 11-of-16 shots, as part of Clemson's 46 points in the paint, and frontcourt players accounted for 54 of Clemson's 79 points. Booker also added two steals and a block to the stat sheet in 27 minutes of action.

We made a conscious effort to get the ball inside," said Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell. "Trevor played a huge part in that because he was able to get their big guy (Al'Lonzo Coleman) in foul trouble. Presbyterian had a good offensive plan, which made us get out of our pressure and play zone, and we were able to contain them.

"Overall, I am pleased with the win. We didn't play well, but we had some spurts that helped us."

Three-pointers from Demontez Stitt and Oglesby gave Clemson an early 6-2 lead, and Clemson looked poised for a rout as Booker scored 19 of his points before intermission.

An 8-0 run, highlighted by four points each from Booker and Jerai Grant, gave Clemson a 22-10 lead at the 11:00 mark. However, the Blue Hose used a late 14-5 run to pull within 36-32, on a layup by Dominic King, with 3:27 remaining in the half.

Clemson called a timeout and Booker added two more lay-ups, the first on a pass from K.C. Riversm, and Oglebsy scored and was fouled, hitting the foul shot, to push the Clemson advantage to 43-34 as Clemson led 45-34 at the half.

In the second half, the Tigers led by double digits most of the way, getting their largest lead on a tip-in by Rivers with 5:29 remaining.

Oglesby added 12 points for Clemson, while Grant added 11 and Raymond Sykes scored 10. Clemson was also 12-for-17 from the free throw line.

Al'Lonzo Coleman led Presbyterian (1-4) with 18 points. Bryan Bostic added 17 and King had 11 for the Blue Hose.

Clemson has the weekend off before returning to action next Tuesday night, when they travel to Champaign, Ill., to take on the Fighting Illini of Illinois in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN2.

Also on Friday, it was announced that Clemson is scheduled to compete in next year's 76 Classic tournament in Anaheim, California.

The tournament will be played over Thanksgiving weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center, which is next to Disneyland. Tournament pairings and game times will be announced at a later date, but the field for the third annual tournament will include eight teams from eight conferences, including five teams who played in the 2007-08 NCAA Tournament.

In addition to the Tigers the field includes UCLA, Texas A&M, West Virginia, Long Beach State, Butler, Minnesota, and Portland.

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