Tigers Escape With a Win Over SC State


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CLEMSON -- Clemson escaped with a 77-74 win over South Carolina State and
Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell wasn’t in the mood to take any
chances.


He laughed when the post-game press conference finished and jumped
up from his seat. “Get me outta here before they change the score,” he
said, stepping quickly out of the room. The score didn’t change, but
Purnell knew his team did well to escape.


“I did not feel like we played really, really well,” he said. “But it’s always a
positive when you win.”


Turnovers didn’t do the Tigers in like they had in so many games this
season. “Offense was not the problem,” said Purnell. “We didn’t make
stops, we didn’t make stands. We could not make a series of defensive
stops at critical times.”


Clemson committed just 15 turnovers, the second lowest total of the
season for the Tigers. But three came during a crucial stretch early in the
second half.


Clemson (5-4) led 38-36 at the half and put together a 6-2 start of the
second half. However, after a timeout by S.C. State, Clemson turned the
ball over on three straight possessions and allowed the Bulldogs (3-3) to
take a 47-44 lead on a 3-pointer by Shawn Wiggins from the top of the key.


The two teams traded leads through most of the second half from that
point. It took a 10-footer from the baseline by Shawan Robinson with 22
seconds left and then two free throws by Olu Babalola to put the game
away.


Robinson lost S.C. State defender Brandon Trapp, who slipped, and hit
his shot from the baseline to give Clemson a 75-72 lead. S.C. State came
back downcourt looking for a 3-pointer, but settled for a layup by Brian
Mason with 7.7 seconds left.


Babalola was fouled and hit both free throws with 6.5 seconds left to give
Clemson a 77-74 lead.


S.C. State’s Thurman Zimmerman brought the ball in and passed to
Demeco Heath, who attempted a 3-pointer near the scorer’s table from
about 30 feet away that fell short.


“We were real confident coming in,” said Zimmerman, who played most of
the second half with a swollen right eye after he was hit by Babalola when
both were going for a loose ball. “Our coach told us, I don’t know how
many years ago, that we beat them by three points. That plus we knew we
matched up well gave us confidence.”


S.C. State beat Clemson in 1999 by three. It took a good game by Chris
Hobbs to turn back the Bulldogs this time. S.C. State played a matchup
zone defense not only to encourage Clemson to shoot from the outside,
but also in an attempt to minimize Hobbs’ impact, said Bulldogs coach
Ben Betts. “In the end we didn’t have the stops defensively that we needed
to,” he said.


Hobbs scored 18, including a layup with 4:36 left that stopped a 7-0 run by
S.C. State and tied the game 65-65.


“It feels like a loss pretty much, the way we played,” said Hobbs. “We’re
supposed to be ready no matter what. No matter how long we’ve been
playing, no matter how long we’ve been laid off. We’ve got to be ready to
play. As soon as we got a little lead, we let up.”


Zimmerman led S.C. State with 19 points and ten rebounds. Robinson
added 16 for Clemson while Sharrod Ford led Clemson with nine
rebounds.


Clemson faces Radford at 7 p.m. on Monday night, and Purnell doesn’t
think he’ll escape that game with the same kind of play.


“They can us beat if we’re not on top of our game and if we don’t defend
better,” he said.



VISITORS: South Carolina State 3-3
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
02 Brian Mason......... f  4-12   0-2    1-2    2  1  3   0   9  3  3  1  2  36
42 Thurman Zimmerman... f  6-15   0-3    7-7    5  5 10   3  19  4  2  0  2  34
01 Demeco Heath........ g  5-11   0-1    1-1    1  3  4   3  11  2  4  1  2  28
24 Shawn Wiggins....... g  6-8    4-6    0-0    1  2  3   0  16  4  1  0  3  39
34 Brandon Trapp....... g  4-13   4-9    1-2    2  3  5   4  13  1  0  0  0  34
04 Jermaine Cannon.....    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   1   0  0  0  0  0   2
05 Cory Seels..........    1-3    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   2  0  0  0  0   8
21 Maurice Hoover......    1-2    0-0    0-0    2  1  3   1   2  1  0  0  1  12
22 Dimitri Evans.......    1-1    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   2  1  0  0  0   7
   TEAM................                         2     2
   Totals..............   28-65   8-21  10-12  15 16 31  12  74 16 10  2 10 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 14-28 50.0%   2nd Half: 14-37 37.8%   Game: 43.1%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  5-10 50.0%   2nd Half:  3-11 27.3%   Game: 38.1%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  3-3  100 %   2nd Half:  7-9  77.8%   Game: 83.3%    2

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: Clemson Tigers 5-4
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
12 Olu Babalola........ f  2-6    0-3    2-2    2  3  5   1   6  5  3  0  0  25
43 Chris Hobbs......... f  8-11   0-0    2-5    3  5  8   1  18  1  2  1  3  32
05 Sharrod Ford........ c  4-9    0-0    1-1    1  8  9   4   9  0  1  0  0  30
03 Vernon Hamilton..... g  3-7    2-3    0-0    1  2  3   3   8  3  0  0  1  23
14 Chey Christie....... g  4-6    1-3    0-0    1  0  1   2   9  8  3  0  2  28
02 Lamar Rice..........    3-6    1-4    0-1    1  1  2   1   7  1  1  0  0  16
04 Steve Allen.........    0-1    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   4
21 Jimmy Hudson........    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   1   0  1  2  0  0   3
22 Shawan Robinson.....    6-10   4-7    0-0    1  2  3   0  16  3  1  0  0  28
33 Akin Akingbala......    2-2    0-0    0-0    1  1  2   3   4  0  1  0  0  11
   TEAM................                         3     3             1
   Totals..............   32-58   8-20   5-9   14 22 36  16  77 22 15  1  6 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 16-31 51.6%   2nd Half: 16-27 59.3%   Game: 55.2%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  5-11 45.5%   2nd Half:  3-9  33.3%   Game: 40.0%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  1-3  33.3%   2nd Half:  4-6  66.7%   Game: 55.6%    0

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Officials: Manny Upton, Roger Ayers, Michael Eades
Technical fouls: South Carolina State-None. Clemson Tigers-None.
Attendance: 6000
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
South Carolina State..........   36   38  -   74
Clemson Tigers................   38   39  -   77

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