Tigers Crush No.7 Cavaliers, 68-52


by - Correspondent -
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CLEMSON - When a good crowd finaly decided to show up at Littlejohn Coliseum
Tuesday night, it got its money's worth. And then some.


Clemson rode a wave of emotion throughout the entire second half and stunned
No. 7 Virginia, 68-52. The 8,500 in attendance roared with every Tigers'
rebound, defensive stop and basket, the latter of which included a dazzling
array of timely 3-pointers and dunks as the half wore on.


The victory was Clemson's first over a top 10 team since last February's
shocking upset of then-No. 1 North Carolina in Littlejohn. More importantly,
it gave Larry Shyatt's team one of the unanticipated Atlantic Coast
Conference victories it will need if a postseason berth is in Tigers' (11-5,
2-1) future.


"Our guys are human," Shyatt said. "All of us would like to do what we do
best in front of the people that love us the most. We needed (the fans) and
they were great when we needed them. But we had a pretty good crowd for South
Carolina, too. We just didn't play well then."


That wasn't a problem Tuesday, especially in the second half.


A deep 3-pointer by Ed Scott game Clemson a 38-34 lead with 14:23 to go, and
started a 23-7 run over the next 7:30. By the time the run was finished,
Scott and McKnight each had hit two shots from behind the arc, while Tony
Stockman added one.


McKnight (25 points) also added a pair of highlight-reel dunks during the
stretch, including one off an alley-oop from Tomas Nagys.


By the time it was over, Clemson led 58-41 and Virginia (9-2, 0-2) never got
closer than 12 points the rest of the way.


"(Clemson) got some confidence and momentum, and then the crowd got behind
them," Virginia head coach Pete Gillen said. "After that it became a tidal
wave."


So did Virginia's shooting.


The Cavaliers, incredibly, hit just 2-of-25 shots from the 3-point line,
working against an active Clemson zone defense. Virginia overcame the lack of
perimeter production in the first half with a strong showing on the offensive
boards. But once the Tigers shut off the second chance opportunities in the
second half the Cavs' offense looked to be in disarray.


Virginia shot just 36 percent (22-of-61) from the field for the game. Guard
Roger Mason Jr. was the only Cavalier to reach double figures (19 points).
Senior Chris Williams, averaging nearly 16 points per game coming in,
finished scoreless on 0-7 shooting.


"That was the first time probably ever that we played a zone at the start and
for pretty much the whole game," Shyatt said. "We knew we had to get a good
effort on the defensive boards and dodge some bullets with (Virginia's) poor
shooting."


Scott, who broke out of his shooting slump last Saturday at Georgia Tech,
finished with 17 points, while Stockman added 10. Combined with McKnight, the
trio overcame a four-point evening from leading scorer Chris Hobbs, who only
managed four shots the entire game.


NOTES


At 2-1, this is the first time Clemson has been over .500 in the ACC since
1997. It started the league 4-0 that year and finished 9-7...Rebounds were
dead even, 43 each. Clemson held a 17-16 edge on the offensive
boards...McKnight's 25 points was a career high...Scott had six assists to
just two turnovers...Mason had just two assists and six turnovers for
Virginia...Clemson is back in action Saturday at Wake Forest, where it will
play for a share of the ACC lead.


BOX SCORE

FINAL          	1st	2nd	Total
Virginia (9-2)	 25 	 27 	52
Clemson (11-5)	 27 	 41 	68

Virginia
PLAYER   	MIN	FGM-A	FTM-A	OFF	REB	AST	PF	PTS
J. Mathis       15	1-4	1-3	1	3	1	1	3
C. Williams     29	0-7	0-0	1	4	1	1	0
E. Brown        19	2-5	0-0	0	3	0	3	4
Mason Jr	36	9-16	0-0	1	6	2	1	19
A. Hall         29	2-11	0-0	6	12	0	2	4
J. Dowling      2	0-0	0-0	0	0	0	0	0
K. Jenifer      20	3-7	3-4	1	3	2	1	9
J. Harper       9	2-5	0-0	0	0	0	1	5
J. Rogers       2	0-0	0-0	0	1	0	1	0
J. Clark        12	1-1	0-0	2	4	0	3	2
T. Watson       27	2-5	2-4	4	6	1	4	6
Totals      	200	22-61	6-11	16	42	7	18	52
                     	.361	.545	 
TEAM REBS: 1
TURNOVERS: 15 (Mason Jr 6, Hall 2, Watson 2, Williams 2, Jenifer, Mathis)
BLOCKED SHOTS: 6 (Mathis 2, Mason Jr 2, Williams, Watson)
STEALS: 9 (Jenifer 3, Mason Jr 2, Watson 2, Harper, Williams)
3-PT FGS: 2-25, .080 (Williams 0-5, Brown 0-1, Mason Jr 1-8, 
Hall 0-4, Jenifer 0-3, Harper 1-4)

Clemson
PLAYER      	MIN	FGM-A	FTM-A	OFF	REB	AST	PF	PTS
J. McKnight     33	9-20	4-4	1	7	2	2	25
C. Hobbs        27	2-4	0-0	2	6	2	4	4
R. Henderson    24	3-6	2-3	3	9	0	2	8
T. Stockman     31	3-11	2-4	1	4	4	0	10
E. Scott        38	7-13	0-0	1	3	6	0	17
T. Nagys        24	0-2	0-1	4	5	1	1	0
S. Ford         5	2-2	0-0	0	1	0	2	4
O. Babalola     2	0-1	0-0	0	0	0	1	0
C. Christie     6	0-0	0-0	1	1	1	1	0
W. Holt         1	0-0	0-0	0	0	0	0	0
D. Clifton      9	0-5	0-4	2	3	1	0	0
Totals        	200	26-64	8-16	15	39	17	13	68
                   	.460	.500	 
TEAM REBS: 4
TURNOVERS: 13 (Hobbs 3, Nagys 3, Stockman 3, Scott 2, Babalola, Clifton)
BLOCKED SHOTS: 4 (Nagys 2, R Henderson, Mcknight)
STEALS: 11 (Nagys 3, Clifton 2, Scott 2, Stockman 2, Hobbs, Mcknight)
3-PT FGS: 8-19, .421 (Mcknight 3-7, Stockman 2-6, Scott 3-4, 
Nagys 0-1, Clifton 0-1)

Technicals: None
Attendance: 8,500 


More Clemson vs. Virginia Notes


*Clemson's 68-52 victory over fifth ranked (USA Today) Virginia was
the largest margin of victory by the Tigers against a Top five team
since January 2, 1980 when Clemson defeated North Carolina 93-76 at
Littlejohn Coliseum.

*Tonight's win was Clemson's 50th in history over a top 25 team at
home, its 46th in Littlejohn Coliseum. Clemson's first win over a
top 25 team in Littlejohn was against Virginia on January 28, 1971,
45-44. Virginia was 15th in the AP poll heading into that game. *This was Clemson's first win over a top 20 Virginia team since
January 19, 1980. Clemson defeated a 12th ranked (AP) Virginia team
led by freshman Ralph Sampson, 88-68 at Littlejohn Coliseum. This
was just the sixth time Clemson has beaten a top 25 Virginia team.
It was the highest ranked Virginia team Clemson has beaten in
history. The previous high was a 12th ranked Virginia team on January
19, 1980.

*This was the fourth top 25 win for Larry Shyatt as Clemson head
coach, the sixth of his coaching career (two as head coach at
Wyoming). Five of his six career top 25 wins have been over top 10
teams. That includes the win over #1 North Carolina last year. *Virginia shot just 2-25 on three-point attempts in the game and the
8 percent accuracy was the best three-point percentage defense of the
Larry Shyatt era. Virginia entered the game leading the ACC in
three-point percentage accuracy with a .388 mark. Clemson was last
in the league entering the game with a .292 figure. Tonight's .421
figure for the Tigers was just the fifth time this year Clemson has
shot better than 40 percent on three-point shots. The best effort of
the season was a 9-15 shooting figure against Charleston Southern.
Clemson is now 4-1 when shooting at least 40 percent on threes. The
only loss is at Duke when Clemson was 6-12.

*Jamar McKnight scored a career high 25 points in the contest and now
has 47 points in Clemson's two ACC wins. He had 22 against Georgia
Tech last Saturday.

*Edward Scott's 17 points were his high total since he had 21 against
Elon on December 15th. Since missing his first four shots against
Georgia Tech, giving him a streak of 18 straight misses, Scott is
10-18 from the field, including 5-8 on three-point goals. Three of
the five have been from 25 feet out.

*This was just the fifth game all year Clemson has made more
three-point goals than the opposition. Clemson is now 5-0 in those
games.

*Entering tonight's game, Clemson had been outscored by 108 points on
three-point goals. Tonight, Clemson was +18.

*This is the first time since the Feb. 14-17, 1999 that Clemson has
won consecutive conference games. Clemson defeated Florida State on
the 14th and Virginia on the 17th that year.

*This is the first time Clemson has won consecutive conference games
with one of the wins a victory on the road since 1997-98. That year
Clemson finished the ACC regular season schedule with a win at NC
State and a home victory over Georgia Tech.

*Clemson shot 53.3 percent from the field in the second half of
tonight's game. Clemson has now shot at least 50 percent in the
second half of four of the last five games. Clemson shot 60 percent
from the field in the second half against Tech last Saturday. *Clemson has won two consecutive conference games even though its
bench has scored just four points in each game.

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