Tigers blast College of Charleston


by - Senior Writer -
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Trevor Booker glides in for one of his ten points against College of Charleston. (Photos: fotoman)

CLEMSON – Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell has seen senior power forward Trevor Booker face double-teams and triple-teams as opposing coaches try to take Clemson’s main scoring threat out of games.

As a result, Purnell challenged junior center Jerai Grant to be stronger around the rim in an effort to take some of the pressure off of Booker as well as open up the rest of the court.

Grant took his coach’s words to heart and finished with a season-high 12 points on 6-of-6 shooting in helping lead the Tigers to a 94-55 victory over the College of Charleston at Littlejohn Coliseum Saturday night, the first game between the schools since 1925.

Purnell said he was pleased with the Grant’s refocused effort and with the effort of the Tigers in general as they improved to 10-2 on the season.

“I was pleased from the standpoint that I thought we moved forward from the last time out,” Purnell said. “I was pleased defensively for the way we defended the three. We didn’t want to give up threes. We did a good job on the boards. It was good to see a lot of guys playing well.

“He’s [Grant] our starting center, so he’s got to do a good job for us to be successful. He’ll have opportunities because we have a good penetrating point guard. I wasn’t pleased with how he rebounded early, but we talked about it at halftime and he did a better job.”

Charleston (5-4) tied things at 2-2 early, but found the going rough from that point on as Clemson grabbed leads of 9-2 and 20-5 in the first half, and then saw the deficit balloon to 18 when they trailed 43-25 at the half.

The Tigers shot 53 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes while the Cougars managed just a 35 percent clip, including 2-for-11 from 3-point range.

The Tigers then made sure that there would be no comeback, outscoring Charleston 18-8 to open the second half for a 61-33 lead. That lead swelled to 30 shortly after that, and Purnell was able to empty the bench.

“Overall I thought all our guys pitched in,” Purnell said. “We’re a deep team, and I think our guys showed tonight they were ready to compete (for playing time).”
Freshman guard Donte Hill tallied a season-high 11 points in the second half alone, while Booker and guard Demontez Stitt added 10 apiece.
Grant said it was nice to see the his team finish strong after he felt like the Tigers let off the gas against East Carolina earlier this week, and that he tried to be more physical after his talk with Purnell.

“We just stuck to our game, playing inside-out and playing pressure defense,” Grant said. “We knew eventually they would crack. We thought it was important in a game like this that we reestablish ourselves, and get back to what we know. When I play well, it t opens it up for everyone, not just Trevor and the other big men.”


Purnell also had one twist to the starting lineup for the Tigers, starting freshman Noel Johnson over senior David Potter at small forward, and Johnson finished with seven points in 17 minutes while Potter played 21 minutes and scored six.

“We’re deep,” Purnell said. “We have guys that haven’t had an opportunity to play a lot who have recently sent a message that they are competing for playing time. It was just a gut feeling. I wanted to shake it up a little bit. I don’t want complacency to set in because guys are competing.” 

Cougar head coach Bobby Cremins said he was disappointed in how his team handled playing the night before boarding a flight to Hawaii for a tournament.

“I am disappointed,” Cremins said. “We got embarrassed tonight. They took us out of the game early. I thought we were coming into the game with the right mindset but we didn’t have it during the game. We never were ourselves tonight. This was the worst we have played in a long time. I have to give Clemson a lot of credit for making us look bad.

“They are a good team that played well tonight. I wish we had played like ourselves. We just have to go back to work now. These are good games for us. They teach us and we can learn a lot from them. We have to get a lot better. Clemson is good and if they continue to play like this, they will be fine.”

Clemson returns to action Tuesday night as they host another Southern Conference foe in Western Carolina. The game is at Littlejohn Coliseum and is slated for a 7:30 p.m. start.


VISITORS: College of Charleston 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
21 Simmons, Jeremy..... f  4-7    0-0    1-1    7  1  8   2   9  0  2  0  0  32
42 Breeden, Casaan..... f  1-7    0-2    0-0    1  5  6   4   2  0  4  2  1  19
01 Monroe, Donavan..... g  4-11   1-3    0-0    1  1  2   3   9  4  3  0  2  32
03 Goudelock, Andrew... g  7-17   3-8    0-0    1  0  1   0  17  1  1  0  1  33
32 White Jr., Tony..... g  2-5    2-5    0-0    0  0  0   0   6  3  3  0  0  26
02 Sundberg, Matt......    0-4    0-3    0-0    1  0  1   0   0  0  1  0  0   8
04 Lawrence, Andrew....    2-6    2-5    0-0    0  1  1   3   6  2  0  0  0  17
05 Wright, Rashad......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   0   0  0  0  0  1   4
12 Pugh, Quasim........    0-2    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   5
53 Hall, Willis........    2-6    0-1    2-2    0  5  5   2   6  0  4  1  1  24
   TEAM................                            1  1
   Totals..............   22-65   8-27   3-3   11 15 26  14  55 10 18  3  6 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-31 35.5%   2nd Half: 11-34 32.4%   Game: 33.8%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  2-11 18.2%   2nd Half:  6-16 37.5%   Game: 29.6%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  1-1  100 %   2nd Half:  2-2  100 %   Game: 100 %    0


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: Clemson 10-2
                          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  4-8    0-0    2-3    1  5  6   1  10  1  1  0  0  23
45 Grant, Jerai........ f  6-6    0-0    0-0    2  0  2   0  12  2  0  2  0  17
01 Johnson, Noel....... g  3-8    1-2    0-0    1  2  3   1   7  0  1  1  0  17
02 Stitt, Demontez..... g  4-5    2-3    0-0    0  2  2   3  10  4  3  0  0  24
05 Smith, Tanner....... g  2-4    0-1    3-4    0  3  3   1   7  4  0  0  3  18
03 Anderson, Zavier....    0-1    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  1  0  0  0   2
04 Baize, Jonah........    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   1
10 Baciu, Catalin......    2-2    0-0    0-0    0  5  5   0   4  1  2  0  0  12
11 Young, Andre........    3-7    1-3    2-2    1  1  2   0   9  3  1  0  4  19
15 Potter, David.......    3-5    0-1    0-0    0  3  3   1   6  1  1  0  2  21
21 Narcisse, Bryan.....    0-1    0-0    2-2    1  1  2   1   2  1  1  0  1   6
24 Jennings, Milton....    4-6    0-1    0-0    3  3  6   0   8  0  1  1  1  15
31 Booker, Devin.......    4-5    0-0    0-1    1  3  4   0   8  2  3  0  0  13
32 Hill, Donte.........    4-7    1-1    2-5    3  0  3   1  11  0  0  0  1  12
   TEAM................                         1  3  4             1
   Totals..............   39-65   5-12  11-17  14 31 45   9  94 20 15  4 12 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 17-32 53.1%   2nd Half: 22-33 66.7%   Game: 60.0%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  3-9  33.3%   2nd Half:  2-3  66.7%   Game: 41.7%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  6-8  75.0%   2nd Half:  5-9  55.6%   Game: 64.7%   3,1


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Officials: Bill Covington, Ray Natili, Dwayne Gladden
Technical fouls: College of Charleston-None. Clemson-None.
Attendance: 8308
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
College of Charleston.........   25   30  -   55
Clemson.......................   43   51  -   94

Points in the paint-COC 18,CU 60. Points off turnovers-COC 2,CU 23.
2nd chance points-COC 12,CU 21. Fast break points-COC 2,CU 8.
Bench points-COC 12,CU 48. Score tied-1 time. Lead changed-0 times.
Last FG-COC 2nd-02:33, CU 2nd-01:04.
Largest lead-COC None, CU by 39 2nd-05:05.

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