Tigers Crushed by Tar Heels, 92-65


by - Correspondent -
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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Any realistic chance Clemson had of ending it's
zero-for-Chapel Hill streak ended after the first 12 minutes Wednesday night.


By then No. 6 North Carolina had finished toying with the Tigers and began an
impressive display of basketball, one that ended with the Tar Heels' crushing
Clemson 92-65 before a national television audience at the Dean Dome.


It was the 11th straight win for North Carolina, and Clemson's 47th loss in
as many tries in Chapel Hill.


"It's a hard game to play," said UNC coach Matt Doherty. "Most teams want to
come in and do their best to end that streak. it's a hard game because
everyone expects us to win. Our concentration wasn't that good in the first
half...but after we got straightened out in the second half I really liked
our defensive intensity."


North Carolina used an impressive array of offensive weapons in the
destruction.


When Clemson (10-7, 1-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) packed in its zone defense
to take away center Brendan Haywood, the Tar Heels simply shot over the
Tigers. UNC finished 12-of-27 from the 3-point arc, including 8-of-15 (53
percent) in the first half.


When the sharp shooting brought Clemson's defense to the perimeter, Haywood
and fellow post players Kris Lang and Jason Capel had a field day against the
Tigers' undersized interior defense. Haywood finished with 11 points and five
rebounds, while Lang and Capel combined for 24 points and 15 rebounds.


"I thought from about the eight or nine minute mark of the first half until
nine minutes left in the game, it was all North Carolina," Clemson coach
Larry Shyatt said. "When they have six guys hitting jump shots from
perimeter, that kind of shoots down the (defensive) plan."


Haywood also dominated the lane defensively. The 7-foot senior blocked six
shots, one of which nearly resulted in Shyatt's ejection early in the second
half. That came after Haywood swatted a shot by CU point guard Edward Scott,
then stared down the smaller player under the basket while the other eight
players raced to the other end of the floor.


As the ball moved into the frontcourt, official Ted Valentine suddenly
whirled and hit the Clemson bench with the technical. Incensed, Shyatt had to
be restrained by Clemson forward Tomas Nagys and assistant coach Matt
Driscoll before finally regaining his composure and returning to the bench.


"I'd like to address that," Shyatt said. "(Administrative assistant) Bruce
Martin said 'That's taunting.' That's all. And I'll have no further comment."


Clemson was able to stay close for the game's first 12 minutes, thanks
primarily to Will Solomon. His 3-pointer with 8:21 left in the half pulled
the Tigers within 29-22, and gave the junior guard all but seven of his team'
s points to that juncture.


But UNC's Brian Morrison answered with a 3 of his own from the top of the key
to push the lead back to 10, 32-22, and Clemson would get no closer than
eight points the rest of the half. North Carolina led 44-31 at the break.


The Tar Heels (14-2) opened the second half on a16-2 run to take a 60-33
lead, and spent the rest of the half substituting freely en route to their
fourth ACC victory without a defeat. The largest margin was 39, 82-43 with
6:07 left, before Clemson shaved the advantage with a barrage of late
3-pointers, three of which came from junior Jamar McKnight.


Solomon finished with 17 points to lead the Tigers, but scored just two in
the second half. McKnight and Dwon Clifton each followed with nine.


As for the streak, Shyatt almost made it through the postgame press
conference without the subject being brought up. But when it was on the final
question of the evening, he refused the notion that Clemson is jinxed in
Chapel Hill.


"If it were the same guys year in and year out, then maybe," he said. "But as
I told someone the other day, if we're talking man-to-man, it's not real hard
to figure out."


Notes:


— Clemson fought the rebounding battle to a 41-41 draw, and actually
outrebounded the Tar Heels on the offensive boards, 15-14.


— Adam Allenspach's ailing back limited him to seven minutes in a reserve
role. He finished 0-of-2 from the field and had zero rebounds.


— The Tigers shot just 24-of-62 (39 percent) from the field and 9-of-16 (56
percent) from the free throw line. North Carolina also had a poor night from
the line, shooting just 50 percent (14-of-28).


— Freshman Chris Hobbs' return to Chapel Hill, where he attended high school,
came with mixed results. The 6-foot-7 forward had just two points, but
collected eight rebounds before fouling out late in the second half.


BOXSCORE


(6) NORTH CAROLINA 92, Clemson 65

CLEMSON (10-7)

Clifton 3-4 2-2 9, Hobbs 1-2 0-0 2, Henderson 2-6 2-6 6, Scott
3-10 0-0 7, Solomon 7-17 0-0 17, Nagys 0-4 4-4 4, Stockman 3-8
0-1 7, Braddick 2-3 0-1 4, Allenspach 0-2 0-0 0, Bains 0-2 0-0 0,
McKnight 3-4 1-2 9, Holt 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-62 9-16 65.

NORTH CAROLINA (14-2)

Capel 4-8 1-2 11, Lang 5-5 3-6 13, Haywood 4-7 3-6 11, Forte 4-12
3-4 14, Curry 3-6 1-2 9, Owens 3-7 0-2 8, Boone 1-2 0-0 3,
Morrison 2-3 3-4 9, Peppers 2-4 0-0 4, Bersticker 2-4 0-2 4,
Brooker 0-1 0-0 0, Johnson 1-3 0-0 2, Holmes 0-0 0-0 0, Melendez
1-2 0-0 2, Everett 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 33-65 14-28 92.

Halftime-NCarolina 44, Clemson 31. 3-Point goals-Clemson 8-21
(Solomon 3-10, McKnight 2-2, Clifton 1-1, Scott 1-2, Stockman
1-3, Nagys 0-1, Bains 0-2), NCarolina 12-27 (Forte 3-6, Curry
2-3, Morrison 2-3, Capel 2-5, Owens 2-5, Boone 1-2, Bersticker
0-1, Brooker 0-1, Melendez 0-1). Fouled out-Hobbs.
Rebounds-Clemson 41 (Hobbs, Henderson 8), NCarolina 41 (Capel 9).
Assists-Clemson 10 (Solomon 5), NCarolina 24 (Capel 5). Total
fouls-Clemson 18, NCarolina 16. Technical-Clemson bench.

A-21,335.

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