Tigers lose to Missouri, endure first round exit for third straight season


by - Senior Writer -
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Oliver Purnell’s teams have always been known as teams that like to press and create turnovers while playing a tenacious defense. Turns out that Mike Anderson’s Missouri Tigers know a little bit about that, too, and taught few lessons on the subject Friday afternoon.

Missouri harassed Clemson into 20 turnovers as they bested Purnell’s Tigers at their own game in roaring to a 86-78 win in the first round of the NCAA Tournament’s East Regional. Missouri forced Clemson into 20 turnovers, including 15 steals, and held a mind-boggling 22-2 edge in fast-break points in advancing to the second round on Sunday, where they will face West Virginia.

No. 7 seed Clemson (21-11) goes home for the third straight year after a first-round loss to a lower-seeded team. Purnell is winless in six trips to the NCAA tournament with three schools, and Purnell had to answer questions afterward about whether his Tigers can get a tournament win.

“There will be a perception among some people (that Clemson can’t win in the tourney),” Purnell said. “I certainly don’t subscribe to that. I wouldn’t say we play extremely well but we competed, we were ready, they wanted it and it just didn’t happen for us.’’

On the flip side, Missouri (23-10), the 10th seed in the East Regional, has won five straight opening-round games.

“Our teams typically start playing some of their better basketball right around late February, March,’’ said Anderson, whose Tigers last year streaked to the Elite Eight. “I guess we really turned up the intensity and I think it was reflective today. I think you build your team up until you get to this point because to me, this is what you work towards.’’

Demontez Stitt had 21 points, Andre Young 19 and Jerai Grant 12 for Clemson, which shot 12 of 24 on 3-pointers but managed just two steals. Trevor Booker finished with 11 points, eight coming in a late 3-minute span, and pulled down 11 rebounds in the final game of his stellar career.

Booker, the only player in ACC history with at least 1,500 points, 1,000 rebounds, 200 assists, 200 blocks and 100 steals, played his 134th straight game for Clemson to set a school record for total games started, but he departs without a win in the NCAA tournament.

Clemson jumped out to a 9-point advantage in the first half behind the 3-point shooting of David Potter, Young and Noel Johnson, but Missouri rallied and the teams were tied at 39-all at halftime. Clemson shot 51.9 percent and hit 8-of-13 3-pointers in the first half to overcome 12 Missouri steals. But Clemson went 14 of 36 (38.9 percent) after the break and Missouri shot nearly 60 percent (16 of 27).

Kim English's 3-pointer from the right corner gave Missouri a 54-50 lead with 13:10 remaining in the game, a shot that sent Mizzou on a 15-5 run that helped put them in charge of the game.

English drained another three with 6:51 to go and J.T. Tiller's three-point play 27 seconds later boosted the Missouri lead to 71-60 and Clemson never really recovered.

VISITORS: Missouri 23-10

                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS

## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN

15 Ramsey, Keith....... f  8-11   1-1    3-3    4  4  8   2  20  4  0  0  3  34

21 Bowers, Laurence.... f  6-10   0-1    3-4    2  3  5   2  15  3  0  1  3  33

04 Tiller, J.T......... g  4-7    0-1    2-3    2  1  3   4  10  5  3  0  5  24

11 Taylor, Zaire....... g  0-1    0-0    3-4    0  1  1   3   3  2  2  1  2  31

24 English, Kim........ g  6-14   4-7    4-7    1  2  3   2  20  0  2  0  0  24

03 Paul, Miguel........    1-2    0-1    0-0    0  0  0   0   2  1  0  0  0   9

10 DIXON, Michael......    2-4    0-1    4-4    0  2  2   0   8  2  2  0  0  15

12 Denmon, Marcus......    3-9    0-5    2-4    0  1  1   1   8  3  0  0  0  18

32 Moore, Steve........    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  3  3   2   0  1  0  1  2  12

35 Underwood, John.....    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0  0+

   TEAM................                            4  4

   Totals..............   30-58   5-17  21-29   9 21 30  16  86 21  9  3 15 200



TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 14-31 45.2%   2nd Half: 16-27 59.3%   Game: 51.7%  DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  2-10 20.0%   2nd Half:  3-7  42.9%   Game: 29.4%   REBS

F Throw % 1st Half:  9-11 81.8%   2nd Half: 12-18 66.7%   Game: 72.4%    4





--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOME TEAM: Clemson 21-11

                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS

## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN

15 Potter, David....... f  2-5    1-3    0-1    0  4  4   5   5  1  3  0  0  23

35 Booker, Trevor...... f  5-11   0-0    1-2    5  6 11   3  11  5  2  1  0  35

45 Grant, Jerai........ c  4-7    0-0    4-5    4  2  6   2  12  1  1  0  0  27

02 Stitt, Demontez..... g  7-11   4-5    3-4    2  1  3   4  21  2  4  0  0  23

05 Smith, Tanner....... g  1-10   0-3    0-0    4  2  6   3   2  2  2  0  1  31

01 Johnson, Noel.......    2-5    2-4    0-0    0  0  0   2   6  0  1  0  0  15

11 Young, Andre........    6-10   5-8    2-2    0  3  3   1  19  2  2  0  1  31

24 Jennings, Milton....    0-1    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  3  0  0   4

31 Booker, Devin.......    1-3    0-1    0-0    2  2  4   2   2  1  2  0  0  11

   TEAM................                         1  3  4

   Totals..............   28-63  12-24  10-14  18 23 41  22  78 14 20  1  2 200



TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 14-27 51.9%   2nd Half: 14-36 38.9%   Game: 44.4%  DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  8-13 61.5%   2nd Half:  4-11 36.4%   Game: 50.0%   REBS

F Throw % 1st Half:  3-4  75.0%   2nd Half:  7-10 70.0%   Game: 71.4%    0





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Officials: Doug Shows, Anthony Jordan, Terry Moore

Technical fouls: Missouri-None. Clemson-None.

Attendance: 18653

Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total

Missouri......................   39   47  -   86

Clemson.......................   39   39  -   78

Clem: Young career high 19 points.

Misso: Ramsey career high 20 points.

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