Tigers Rout Bethune-Cookman in Season Opener


by - Correspondent -
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CLEMSON -- Oliver Purnell's new style of basketball for his Clemson team looked pretty good Friday in the season opener.

Using a pressing defense and an up-tempo offense, the Tigers jumped out to a 30-point lead in the game's first 10 minutes before cruising to an 84-55 victory over Bethune-Cookman in front of an announced crowd of 6,024 at Littlejohn Coliseum.

"I was real pleased with the way we played in the first half," said Purnell.

"The defensive intensity is what set the tone and it kind of transitioned into our offense.

"The defense definitely set the tone tonight and I was real pleased about that." There was a time when most in attendance didn't think Bethune-Cookman would comeback from the locker room at halftime. Clemson (1-0) stood at half court with the officials waiting for the Wildcats to return. After the horn sounded a few times, they finally emerged from the locker room and play resumed.

"I knew their coach was probably letting them have it and that they would come out and play better in the second half and they did," said Clemson guard Shawan Robinson.

But the Wildcats (1-2) better play didn't come until after Clemson built a

57-17 halftime lead. It was the largest halftime lead since a 60-14 halftime lead on Armstrong State on Dec. 17, 1986.

Using that pressing defense, Clemson forced 14 Bethune-Cookman turnovers and allowed the Tigers to take a 38-8 lead with 6:30 to play in the opening half. At that point, the Wildcats had more turnovers than points.

"If you play hard, good things happen," freshman K.C. Rivers said. "We came out and played with a lot of intensity and things just went our way." Rivers, making his much anticipated debut, had six first half points, both on three pointers from the right side. He finished the game with eight points.

Mays and Robinson where each 5 of 7 from the floor in the first half as Robinson had a team-high 15 points at the break. Mays had 10 points and the Tigers as a team shot 23 of 39 from the floor.

Hammonds, who made 4 of 6 shots in the first half, scored 9 points during the games's first 20 minutes.

Things weren't so good for Bethune-Cookman in the opening half. When the Wildcats did get off shots they were miss firing, connecting on just 5 of 19 and missing eight straight at one point. Antonio Webb had nine first half points on 3 of 7 shooting to pace Bethune-Cookman in the first half.

The Wildcats never really handled Clemson's pressure defense either, finishing with 25 turnovers.

"We talked about the pressure coming up to this game, but there was no way we could simulate it," said Bethune-Cookman head coach Clifford Reed. "We were not ready for that level of pressure. It's one thing to talk about it, it's another to actually have to face it." Clemson cooled down in the second half as the Tigers took away the pressure defense and worked on their half court game. Purnell wasn't as pleased with the second half results, but said he knows those will come.

The Tigers shot just 37.9 percent from the floor in the second half, missing several three or four footers. Clemson was also out rebound in the second half as Bethune-Cookman out scored the Tigers 38-27 in the last 20 minutes.

"I wasn't disappointed with the second half," Purnell said. "I just feel in time, those things will come around." Clemson's free throw shooting still hasn't come around as the Tigers shot just 7 of 18 from the foul line.

Robinson led Clemson with 18 points, while Sam Perry added 14 and Mays 13.

Clemson will host Coppin State Monday with game time set for 7:30 p.m.


Official Basketball Box Score
Bethune-Cookman vs Clemson
11/18/05 7:30 at Clemson, SC (Littlejohn Coliseum)
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VISITORS: Bethune-Cookman 1-2
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
00 Kory Crumbley....... f  0-2    0-1    0-0    0  1  1   2   0  0  1  0  0  12
31 Sam Barber.......... f  0-4    0-1    1-2    0  2  2   3   1  0  1  0  1   9
33 Michael Williams II. c  5-8    0-0    4-8    3  8 11   3  14  1  2  1  3  38
02 Antonio Webb........ g  7-16   4-11   4-4    1  1  2   3  22  2  7  0  3  39
05 Brandon Edwards..... g  0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  1  3  0  2  19
03 Jordan Carrier......    1-1    0-0    0-2    0  0  0   1   2  0  3  0  1  14
10 Anis Taylor.........    1-4    1-3    0-0    0  3  3   3   3  4  1  0  0  21
12 Kevan Creppy........    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   0   0  0  1  0  0   3
13 Walter Murray.......    1-3    0-0    0-1    3  2  5   3   2  1  4  0  2  11
21 Cleveland Williams..    3-9    0-0    5-14   5  5 10   3  11  1  2  0  0  30
42 Ron Mitchell........    0-1    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   4
   TEAM................                         2  2  4
   Totals..............   18-48   5-16  14-31  14 25 39  21  55 10 25  1 12 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half:  5-19 26.3%   2nd Half: 13-29 44.8%   Game: 37.5%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  2-10 20.0%   2nd Half:  3-6  50.0%   Game: 31.3%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  5-13 38.5%   2nd Half:  9-18 50.0%   Game: 45.2%   8,1

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HOME TEAM: Clemson 1-0
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
32 Sam Perry........... f  7-9    0-0    0-4    1  0  1   3  14  0  1  1  3  16
44 James Mays.......... f  2-5    0-0    0-1    3 11 14   3   4  1  1  2  1  19
33 Akin Akingbala...... c  2-6    0-0    0-2    4  1  5   3   4  1  1  0  1  18
03 Vernon Hamilton..... g  2-7    0-1    5-8    0  1  1   3   9  2  2  0  3  25
25 Cliff Hammonds...... g  6-11   1-4    0-1    1  0  1   1  13  5  2  0  2  22
01 K.C. Rivers.........    3-7    2-5    0-0    1  6  7   2   8  3  3  0  4  24
04 Steve Allen.........    1-1    0-0    0-0    1  2  3   1   2  1  1  2  0  16
12 Raymond Sykes.......    1-1    0-0    0-0    1  1  2   2   2  0  2  0  0   9
20 Troy Mathis.........    2-7    2-6    0-0    0  0  0   1   6  2  0  0  1  13
22 Shawan Robinson.....    6-8    4-6    2-2    0  0  0   0  18  3  1  0  2  14
24 Matt Morris.........    1-2    0-1    0-0    0  0  0   0   2  0  0  0  0   3
40 Jesse Yanutola......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   1
42 Julius Powell.......    1-4    0-2    0-0    2  2  4   4   2  1  2  1  0  20
   TEAM................                         2  1  3
   Totals..............   34-68   9-25   7-18  16 25 41  23  84 19 16  6 17 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 23-39 59.0%   2nd Half: 11-29 37.9%   Game: 50.0%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  7-16 43.8%   2nd Half:  2-9  22.2%   Game: 36.0%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  4-7  57.1%   2nd Half:  3-11 27.3%   Game: 38.9%    3

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Officials: Michael Eades, Mark Schnur, Charles Robinson
Technical fouls: Bethune-Cookman-None. Clemson-None.
Attendance: 6024
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Bethune-Cookman...............   17   38  -   55
Clemson.......................   57   27  -   84
ID-389679

Points in the paint-BETH 20,CU 44. Points off turnovers-BETH 18,CU 39.
2nd chance points-BETH 10,CU 14. Fast break points-BETH 4,CU 14.
Bench points-BETH 18,CU 40. Score tied-1 time. Lead changed-1 time.
Last FG-BETH 2nd-00:08, CU 2nd-00:11.
Largest lead-BETH by 2 1st-19:18, CU by 42 2nd-16:49.

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