Tigers Escape with Win Over Charlotte to Remain Undefeated


by - Senior Writer -
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Welcome home, Demontez Stitt.

The sophomore point guard of the Clemson Tigers celebrated a happy homecoming, hitting four straight free throws in the final 1:38 and scoring 16 points overall as the Tigers held off a late rally and last-second shot to avenge last season's loss in beating the Charlotte 49ers 71-70 in Charlotte Saturday night, improving to 5-0 on the young season.

"It was a test, and it was a hostile environment," Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell said. "We are just really pleased with the win. We didn't play great, but their crowd, and this environment, and they were playing so doggone hard, it wasn't easy. But I thought we matched their energy. I thought toward the end of the game, we played harder.

"And that is what got it done for us, that and getting the ball inside. We came out in the second half and said we needed to get the ball inside. We did that, and got a working margin, and stopped doing it. At the end of the game, we went back, and it worked for us."

Clemson led by two at the break, 36-34, and extended the lead to as many as eight in the second half, but foul trouble, poor three shooting and the scrappy play of the 49ers kept Charlotte close, and they tied the score at 67 on a shot by Lamont Mack with just 1:01 remaining.

K.C. Rivers hit a big layup to extend Clemson to 69-67 at the 43.2 second mark, and Stitt hit two free throws with 16 seconds remaining to extend Clemson to 71-67, but Charlotte cut the lead to 71-70 with just six seconds remaining on a three-pointer by Mack. After a time out, Clemson threw the ball away, giving the 49ers time to get off a game-winning attempt.

The three-pointer was off the mark, however, and the Tigers escaped a hostile environment with the win.

"I thought we played hard at the end and gutted it out," Purnell said. "In what I thought was a terrific ballgame, not a real pretty game, but I thought it was real competitive game. Any time you can come into an environment like this and win, it's a lesson to come back to. It gives you a shot of confidence along with getting your fifth win."

Stitt's 16 led the Tigers in scoring, and Rivers was the only other Tiger in double figures, finishing with 12. Terrence Oglesby, who has led Clemson in scoring so far in the young season, struggled to just seven points, including just 1-for-6 from beyond the arc.

The Tigers also struggled at times from the free throw line, shooting 18-for-31 at the stripe (58%). The 49ers had their own troubles at the charity stripe, mimicking the Tigers from last season, hitting a paltry 7-of-19, just 36.8%.

Purnell said that Stitt was huge in his return to Charlotte.

"Demontez Stitt stepped to the line and made four straight free throws to kind of salt it away there, and at least put them in a situation where they had to score to win."

The Tigers have five of their next six games in the friendly confines of Littlejohn Coliseum, starting with Tuesday night's game at home against Savannah St. at 8 p.m.


VISITORS: Clemson 5-0
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
35 Booker, Trevor...... f  2-4    0-0    4-6    3  5  8   3   8  1  3  4  2  32
12 Sykes, Raymond...... c  2-4    0-0    2-6    3  1  4   4   6  0  4  2  1  21
01 Rivers, K.C......... g  5-10   2-5    0-0    0  8  8   2  12  1  1  0  1  32
02 Stitt, Demontez..... g  4-7    2-3    6-7    0  4  4   4  16  4  3  0  1  22
22 Oglesby, Terrence... g  2-10   1-5    2-2    3  0  3   3   7  2  0  0  0  23
05 Smith, Tanner.......    1-3    0-1    2-3    1  2  3   0   4  1  3  0  0  15
11 Young, Andre........    2-7    2-5    0-2    1  1  2   1   6  0  1  0  2  18
15 Potter, David.......    3-8    0-2    1-2    0  3  3   2   7  0  1  0  0  23
45 Grant, Jerai........    2-2    0-0    1-3    1  2  3   2   5  0  1  0  0  14
   TEAM................                         1  2  3
   Totals..............   23-55   7-21  18-31  13 28 41  21  71  9 17  6  7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-29 41.4%   2nd Half: 11-26 42.3%   Game: 41.8%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  4-11 36.4%   2nd Half:  3-10 30.0%   Game: 33.3%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  8-15 53.3%   2nd Half: 10-16 62.5%   Game: 58.1%   5,1


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: Charlotte 1-3
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
15 MACK, Lamont........ f  6-20   2-7    0-0    0  5  5   2  14  1  3  1  2  26
21 WILDERNESS, An'Juan. f  3-5    0-0    0-5    3  1  4   3   6  2  3  0  1  20
30 JONES, Phil......... f  3-5    0-0    4-5    1  4  5   1  10  0  0  1  0  23
03 HARRIS, DiJuan...... g  0-6    0-1    1-2    0  5  5   3   1 10  3  1  2  35
22 COLEMAN, RaShad..... g  3-8    0-3    0-3    2  1  3   1   6  0  3  0  1  19
00 BARNETT, Javarris...    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   0   0  0  0  0  0   4
02 COLEY, Charlie......    4-7    0-1    1-2    3  8 11   3   9  1  1  0  0  28
05 NGOUNDJO, Gaby......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   2   0  0  0  1  0   2
11 ANDERSEN, Ian.......    7-11   7-11   0-0    2  0  2   3  21  0  1  0  0  24
31 DEWHURST, Charles...    1-2    0-0    1-2    2  2  4   3   3  0  1  0  1  19
   TEAM................                         2     2
   Totals..............   27-64   9-23   7-19  15 27 42  21  70 14 15  4  7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-29 41.4%   2nd Half: 15-35 42.9%   Game: 42.2%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  6-12 50.0%   2nd Half:  3-11 27.3%   Game: 39.1%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  4-8  50.0%   2nd Half:  3-11 27.3%   Game: 36.8%    5


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Officials: Bryan Kersey, Mike Eades, Mark Schnur
Technical fouls: Clemson-None. Charlotte-None.
Attendance: 9105
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Clemson.......................   36   35  -   71
Charlotte.....................   34   36  -   70

Points in the paint-CU 26,CHA 34. Points off turnovers-CU 15,CHA 12.
2nd chance points-CU 9,CHA 17. Fast break points-CU 8,CHA 16.
Bench points-CU 22,CHA 33. Score tied-5 times. Lead changed-9 times.
Last FG-CU 2nd-00:43, CHA 2nd-00:07.
Largest lead-CU by 8 2nd-15:43, CHA by 5 1st-18:34.

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