Tigers Go Cold From Floor in NCAA Tourney Loss to Michigan


by - Senior Writer -
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Trevor Booker had 18 points and 11 boards for the Tigers. (Photos: fotoman)

This one was ugly. No sugar coating it, no extra points for effort.

The late-season slide continued for the Clemson Tigers Thursday night, shooting just 5-for-22 from 3-point range and 32 percent overall, in a perplexing and strange 62-59 first round NCAA Tournament loss to Michigan at Sprint Arena.

The loss was the fifth in the last six games for Clemson, deprived Clemson head Oliver Purnell of the first NCAA Tournament win of his career and the school its first win in the tourney since 1997.

Meanwhile, a Michigan squad that looked underwhelming at best, advances to Saturday’s second-round game against No. 2 seed Oklahoma, which beat No. 15 Morgan State 82-54.

“I told our guys they had a solid year, but that’s not good enough for me, for the program, and I don’t think its good enough for you,” Purnell said of the Tigers’ 23-9 record. “We just couldn’t make shots. Demontez, T.O., K.C., David Potter, they have a good shooting percentage. K.C. and Potter had lay-ups and Demontez had four in the lane from seven feet. You’ve got to make some of those or you put yourself behind the eight-ball.”

The Tigers jumped out to a 9-3 lead in the contest, but still trailed 27-24 at the half after going cold from the floor. Then the vast ceiling of the Sprint Center came crashing down around the Tigers as the Wolverines scored nine of the first 13 points coming out of the break.

Then, with 16 minutes left in the contest, Clemson shooting guard Terrence Oglesby was ejected for an intentional foul after throwing an elbow at Michigan’s Stu Douglass. After the personal foul was called, a dejected Oglesby went to the bench while the officials debated whether the foul warranted ejection, which they decided was the case, Oglesby headed to the locker room.

“What we saw was a push-off to the forehead,” official Thomas Eades said in a statement. “We came out immediately with an intentional foul. By rule, just to make certain it was an intentional foul, we can go to the monitor to review. When we looked at it, there was no doubt it was an intentional act to the forehead. In my opinion, when you take a forearm to someone’s head it’s a flagrant foul.”

Oglesby said it was simply a case of losing his cool at the wrong time.

"I did not punch the guy,” Oglesby said. “I did elbow him. I swept through a little high and caught him. I just blanked out and did it. I didn't really think about if I was going to get him or not. It was selfish of me to lose my cool, and I left the guys out to dry.

"I apologize to that kid for catching him with the elbow. I was sitting back here watching the game, and the team showed a lot of heart in bringing it back. I just wish they could have kept going. It's a miserable feeling knowing that you can't do anything about it."

Douglass made both free throws, and then the Wolverines nailed a 3-pointer to take a 41-28 lead, and the Tigers spent the next several minutes trying to carve into the lead without one of their main offensive weapons.


Terrence Oglesby was ejected for an intentional foul after throwing an elbow at Michigan’s Stu Douglass.

The Tigers wouldn’t go away quietly, however, as Purnell made sure to mention afterward.

“I told them this was the exact situation we’d envisioned talking about,” he said. “15 up, 15 down in this kind of tournament, the ability to hang in as one, come closer. I thought they believed and that was one reason they gave themselves a chance.”

K.C. Rivers nailed a three-pointer from the right wing that trimmed the Michigan advantage to 58-52 with just less than four minutes remaining, and then with a Booker dunk with 27.8 seconds to go, Clemson trailed just 61-59.

The Tigers fouled Michigan’s Zack Novak with 13.1 seconds left, and Novak made just one of his free throws to give the Tigers a chance at a tie. The ball went to Rivers back on the right wing, but his game-tying attempt was well off the mark, leaving Rivers to think about what-if at the end of his career.

“Right now, I’m trying to look at the positives, outweigh the negatives, let everything out and let my mind be free,” Rivers said. “I don’t know what to think. It looked like a good enough spot to catch and release, but I was jammed up and I had to go down further and get my shot off. Quickly I had to turn and square, as a lefthander, make a fast turn. I didn’t turn and square up all the way.”

Purnell said the game, at its base level, came down to missed shots.

“You don’t want to be down 15 to a good team,” Purnell said. “It’s a high wire act. Maybe you stay up, get a couple of shots, get to overtime, get it done in overtime. But the way we were making shots in this game, it wasn’t going to happen.”


VISITORS: Michigan 21-13
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
34 Sims, DeShawn....... f  4-12   1-2    0-0    2  1  3   2   9  0  0  1  2  31
00 Novak, Zack......... g  2-6    2-5    1-2    0  4  4   3   7  4  1  0  0  33
01 Douglass, Stu....... g  3-8    1-5    5-6    0  3  3   1  12  2  2  0  1  33
02 Lee, C.J............ g  2-3    2-3    0-0    0  1  1   3   6  3  4  0  0  21
03 Harris, Manny....... g  7-15   3-6    6-6    2  5  7   1  23  6  3  1  0  36
12 Wright, Anthony.....    1-1    1-1    0-1    1  3  4   0   3  0  0  0  0  10
15 Merritt, David......    0-2    0-2    0-0    0  2  2   0   0  1  1  0  0  15
31 Lucas-Perry, Laval..    0-1    0-1    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  1  0  0   7
32 Gibson, Zack........    1-1    0-0    0-0    2  2  4   1   2  0  1  1  2  10
44 Grady, Kelvin.......    0-2    0-1    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   4
   TEAM................                         2  3  5             1
   Totals..............   20-51  10-26  12-15   9 24 33  11  62 16 14  3  5 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-28 35.7%   2nd Half: 10-23 43.5%   Game: 39.2%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  6-15 40.0%   2nd Half:  4-11 36.4%   Game: 38.5%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  1-1  100 %   2nd Half: 11-14 78.6%   Game: 80.0%    2


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: Clemson 23-9
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
12 Sykes, Raymond...... f  4-5    0-0    0-0    2  0  2   1   8  0  0  1  0  15
35 Booker, Trevor...... f  7-10   0-0    4-6    7  4 11   1  18  1  0  1  2  32
01 Rivers, K.C......... g  3-13   1-5    6-6    3  6  9   3  13  2  1  2  3  31
02 Stitt, Demontez..... g  1-6    0-1    0-0    0  4  4   4   2  6  3  0  1  24
22 Oglesby, Terrence... g  1-8    1-7    0-0    1  1  2   3   3  1  3  0  0  13
05 Smith, Tanner.......    0-3    0-1    0-0    1  2  3   2   0  0  2  0  1  20
11 Young, Andre........    3-7    3-5    0-0    0  2  2   1   9  1  0  0  1  26
15 Potter, David.......    0-7    0-3    2-2    0  1  1   2   2  1  0  0  0  16
21 Narcisse, Bryan.....    1-1    0-0    0-0    1  0  1   1   2  1  0  0  0   5
45 Grant, Jerai........    1-5    0-0    0-0    5  0  5   1   2  1  2  3  0  18
   TEAM................                         1  3  4
   Totals..............   21-65   5-22  12-14  21 23 44  19  59 14 11  7  8 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half:  9-33 27.3%   2nd Half: 12-32 37.5%   Game: 32.3%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  2-12 16.7%   2nd Half:  3-10 30.0%   Game: 22.7%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  4-4  100 %   2nd Half:  8-10 80.0%   Game: 85.7%    1


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Officials: Thomas Eades, Kelly Self, Richard Crawford
Technical fouls: Michigan-None. Clemson-None.
Attendance:
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Michigan......................   27   35  -   62
Clemson.......................   24   35  -   59
2009 NCAA Tournament First Round

Points in the paint-MICH 20,CU 32. Points off turnovers-MICH 20,CU 11.
2nd chance points-MICH 4,CU 16. Fast break points-MICH 9,CU 8.
Bench points-MICH 5,CU 15. Score tied-3 times. Lead changed-3 times.
Last FG-MICH 2nd-00:36, CU 2nd-00:27.
Largest lead-MICH by 16 2nd-14:48, CU by 6 1st-15:01.

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