Tigers Stay Perfect with Rout of Savannah St.


by - Senior Writer -
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CLEMSON - James Mays was back on the court for the Clemson Tigers Tuesday night. At least it looked like it.

Junior Raymond Sykes, with Clemson's lead trimmed to just 10 points at 50-40 almost midway through the second half, took on the high energy, rebounding role that Mays used to fill, collecting several big rebounds, a key block and adding eight second half points as the Tigers defeated Savannah St. 81-49 at Littlejohn Coliseum Tuesday night, the 100th win of head coach Oliver Purnell's Clemson career.

"It is an important win to establish the way we want to play, particularly getting the ball inside" Purnell said. "This is another win, and gives us another win and a chance to move forward as a team. In this business, 100 wins doesn't get you much. Maybe if I get to 500, maybe then I will think a little bit differently about it.

"That fact that you are around for a hundred means that you are still around, and still have a job, which is important in this tough economy. So that is a good thing."

The win improved Clemson 6-0 on the season, with a home date against Presbyterian on Friday the perfect opportunity for Purnell to get No. 101.

Clemson jumped to a quick 4-0 lead behind junior center Trevor Booker, with two points being the closest Savannah St. would get all evening as the Tigers led 41-19 at the half. Included in the half was an 11-0 run that took a 20-13 Clemson lead to 29-13 with 8:43 remaining.

Savannah St.'s Anthony Jones, who came into the contest averaging just under four points per game, scored 14 of his team's 19 points in the half and finished with a team-high 20 points.

Savannah St. started the second half on a 17-5 run, bringing them to within eight at 44-36, but Terrence Oglesby hit a rainbow three-pointer to give Clemson a 50-38 margin. Jones would add another bucket to make it 50-40, and then Sykes made his impact known as Clemson finished on 31-9 run to close out the game.

Sykes finished with 14 points, three of his career high, and tied his career high with seven rebounds.

"I thought he was a big factor, plus he was a low post presence," Purnell said. "We tried to get the ball low to Ray in there, and he really utilized his height and quickness. He was very active out there, which is his strength, along with his mobility, and being bouncy, which I thought he was tonight."

Perhaps the biggest applause of the night came with 5:27 left in the first half when freshman Catalin Baciu, suspended by the NCAA for the first five games of the season, made his season debut. Baciu, who carries the nickname "Bobo", was greeted with cheers each time he touched the ball and collected his first rebound, and even evoked a huge groan from the crowd when his first college field goal attempt bounced in and out of the bucket.

Bobo scored his first points with a lay-in at the 3:20 mark of the second half, and later added another as he finished with four points, and said the experience great, even though he tends to tune the crowd out when playing.

"Honestly, when I get on the court I can't hear anything," Bobo said. "I was really excited to actually get out there and play tonight. And to score my first basket, I can't even describe it. When I got the ball, I was so excited I didn't know what to do with it."

Booker and Oglesby finished with 17 points apiece to pace Clemson, while Booker and K.C. Rivers each snagged six rebounds. Booker also added four blocks. The Tigers were 6-of-14 from beyond the arc, and hit 13-of-21 free throws.


VISITORS: Savannah State 4-1
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
22 Hassan, Rashad...... f  2-4    0-0    0-0    5  1  6   1   4  0  3  1  4  19
24 Linton, Chris....... f  1-6    1-1    0-0    2  3  5   2   3  1  2  0  2  25
05 Bailey, Raye........ g  0-2    0-1    0-1    0  0  0   2   0  2  3  0  0  20
13 Jones, Anthony...... g  9-18   2-5    0-0    1  1  2   3  20  0  0  0  0  25
20 Shuler, Jovonni..... g  2-3    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   1   4  1  2  0  1  20
01 Hardy, Patrick......    2-4    2-3    0-0    0  2  2   0   6  0  1  1  3  17
02 Rankins, Tracy......    1-5    1-2    1-2    0  2  2   0   4  3  4  0  1  20
03 St. Fort, Mark......    0-0    0-0    2-2    0  0  0   0   2  0  0  0  0   2
04 Mitchell, Rod.......    0-1    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   1   0  0  1  0  0   3
14 Izevbigie, GLen.....    0-3    0-0    0-0    1  2  3   3   0  0  0  1  0  11
23 Brown, Curtis.......    0-4    0-1    0-0    0  0  0   2   0  1  1  1  1  12
34 Stowers, Devin......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   5
42 Louis, Arnold.......    0-5    0-0    0-0    1  1  2   2   0  0  2  0  0  15
55 Fort, LaQuinton.....    2-3    0-1    2-2    0  1  1   1   6  0  0  0  0   6
   TEAM................                         3  1  4
   Totals..............   19-58   6-14   5-7   13 15 28  18  49  8 19  4 12 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half:  8-32 25.0%   2nd Half: 11-26 42.3%   Game: 32.8%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  3-7  42.9%   2nd Half:  3-7  42.9%   Game: 42.9%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  0-0   0.0%   2nd Half:  5-7  71.4%   Game: 71.4%    1


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: Clemson 6-0
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
01 Rivers, K.C......... f  2-5    2-4    0-0    2  4  6   0   6  1  1  1  2  27
35 Booker, Trevor...... f  5-6    0-0    7-10   3  3  6   1  17  1  3  4  4  25
12 Sykes, Raymond...... c  7-9    0-0    0-1    1  6  7   1  14  1  1  1  0  24
02 Stitt, Demontez..... g  4-7    0-0    0-1    1  4  5   2   8  4  4  0  3  21
22 Oglesby, Terrence... g  6-11   4-6    1-2    0  1  1   3  17  1  2  0  0  23
03 Anderson, Zavier....    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  2  2   0   0  0  0  1  0   2
05 Smith, Tanner.......    0-3    0-1    0-0    1  0  1   3   0  0  1  0  1  15
10 Baciu, Catalin......    2-4    0-0    0-0    1  1  2   1   4  0  1  2  0   9
11 Young, Andre........    0-5    0-3    2-2    0  1  1   1   2  6  0  0  1  17
15 Potter, David.......    1-2    0-0    0-0    0  2  2   2   2  1  4  0  1  13
21 Narcisse, Bryan.....    0-1    0-0    2-2    1  0  1   0   2  0  0  0  1   3
44 Yanutola, Jesse.....    0-1    0-0    1-2    1  0  1   0   1  1  0  0  0   2
45 Grant, Jerai........    4-6    0-0    0-1    5  2  7   0   8  1  0  5  0  17
55 Petrukonis, Karolis.    0-1    0-0    0-0    1  0  1   0   0  0  1  0  0   2
   TEAM................                         3  1  4
   Totals..............   31-61   6-14  13-21  20 27 47  14  81 17 18 14 13 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 16-28 57.1%   2nd Half: 15-33 45.5%   Game: 50.8%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  4-6  66.7%   2nd Half:  2-8  25.0%   Game: 42.9%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  5-6  83.3%   2nd Half:  8-15 53.3%   Game: 61.9%    3


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Officials: Karl Hess, Reggie Greenwood, Jeff Clark
Technical fouls: Savannah State-None. Clemson-None.
Attendance: 6595
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Savannah State................   19   30  -   49
Clemson.......................   41   40  -   81

Points in the paint-SAV 10,CU 46. Points off turnovers-SAV 13,CU 18.
2nd chance points-SAV 11,CU 19. Fast break points-SAV 2,CU 9.
Bench points-SAV 18,CU 19. Score tied-0 times. Lead changed-0 times.
Last FG-SAV 2nd-07:52, CU 2nd-00:53.
Largest lead-SAV None, CU by 32 2nd-00:33.

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