Wolfpack Steamroll Tigers, 85-51


by - Correspondent -
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RALEIGH, N.C. — The latest loss in Clemson's seemingly endless streak of
futility could prove to be its most devastating.


A month and a day since becoming the Tigers' first Atlantic Coast Conference
victory of the season, N.C. State avenged the earlier defeat by steamrolling
Clemson 85-51 Wednesday night in Raleigh.


Clemson hasn't won since that Jan. 13 encounter, still owns but one
conference victory and has lost eight straight for the first time since
1971-72. Meanwhile, the Wolfpack has quietly won two of three to climb over
.500 for the season (12-11), and improved to 4-7 in the ACC.


"It was definitely most disappointing (loss of the season) to me," Clemson
coach Larry Shyatt said afterwards. "I've been very proud of how we've
battled teams perhaps more talented, taller and nationally ranked. But this
wasn't one of those nights. I'm equipped to take full and total
responsibility when we play poorly...and tonight we caved.


"I thought we were out of sorts on both ends of the floor."


The Tigers (10-14, 1-10) were never in the game after State closed the first
half with a 17-2 run to take a 46-28 lead, and any thoughts Clemson had of
pulling one of its patented comebacks seemed to end on the first basket of
the second half, when Damien Wilkins drove baseline for a highlight-reel
reverse dunk to put the margin at 20.


The Wolfpack could do little wrong from that point, dropping in jump shots
from all angles or hitting easy transition layups to keep Clemson reeling.
State's biggest lead was 40, 79-39, with just over 7:53 left in the game.


Wilkins finished with a game-high 22 points for the Wolfpack, but had plenty
of help. Trey Guidry added 13 points, while Kenny Inge and Anthony Grundy had
11 and 10, respectively.


Chris Hobbs was the lone bright spot for the Tigers, at least in the first
half. Hobbs scored 12 of his 15 points in the half, and finished the game
with a team-leading nine rebounds. Tony Stockman was the only other Clemson
player in double figures, finishing with 10.


It looked for a while like Wednesday's game would be a repeat of the first
meeting between the teams. The first half was a game of runs, with both teams
— and individual players — going into scoring spurts.


Clemson trailed 20-11 seven minutes into the game, before rallying with eight
straight points — a pair of 3-pointers by Pasha Bains and an 18-footer by
Tony Stockman — to pull within 20-19.


State answered with a 10-0 run, the last four from Wilkins, to regain control
with under eight minutes left in the half, 29-19.


Hobbs stopped the run with a putback of an Ed Scott miss, the first of seven
straight points the freshman forward would score to pull Clemson within 29-26.


But State put an emphatic end to the half, outscoring the Tigers 17-2 over
the final 5:10 to take a 46-28 lead into the break.


Clemson has little time to feel sorry for itself. Looming Sunday is a meeting
with No. 1 North Carolina at Littlejohn Coliseum, a test Shyatt seems to
welcome.


"When we've been beaten badly, and that's four times now, we've bounced back
the next game and played pretty well. So having No. 1 there to shoot at might
be the best thing for us after a game like this."


Notes:


— Clemson now owns sole possession of the ACC basement, thanks to Florida
State's 74-71 upset victory Wednesday at Maryland.


— Solomon's streak of 52 consecutive games with double figures in points came
to an end Wednesday. It was the first time since the final game of the
1998-99 season — the NIT Championship game loss to California — that the
junior guard failed to score at least 10 points.


— Adam Allenspach made his first appearance since Jan. 17 at North Carolina,
playing 10 minutes in a reserve role. The senior center had missed six
consecutive games with recurring back problems. Allenspach scored two points
and had one rebound.


— The 34-point margin was Clemson's worst loss to N.C. State since a 112-72
defeat in 1955.


NORTH CAROLINA STATE 85, Clemson 51

CLEMSON (10-14)

Solomon 3-7 1-3 7, Scott 0-5 0-0 0, Henderson 2-3 1-2 5, Clifton
1-3 0-0 3, Hobbs 5-8 5-8 15, Stockman 4-14 2-2 10, McKnight 0-2
0-0 0, Holt 0-0 0-0 0, Braddick 0-0 0-1 0, Nagys 0-1 0-0 0, Bains
3-5 1-2 9, Douglas 0-0 0-0 0, Allenspach 1-5 0-0 2. Totals 19-53
10-18 51.

NC STATE (12-11)

Wilkins 7-11 6-7 22, Inge 2-3 7-10 11, Guidry 4-7 2-2 13,
Crawford 2-9 2-4 6, Kelley 4-6 0-0 8, Grundy 2-7 5-6 10, Thornton
2-2 2-2 6, Keeter 0-1 0-0 0, Miller 0-2 0-0 0, Sherrill 2-7 0-0
5, Williams 1-1 0-0 2, Melvin 0-3 2-2 2. Totals 26-59 26-33 85.

Halftime-NC State 46, Clemson 28. 3-Point goals-Clemson 3-12
(Solomon 0-3, Scott 0-1, Clifton 1-2, Stockman 0-2, McKnight 0-1,
Bains 2-3), NC State 7-21 (Wilkins 2-3, Guidry 3-5, Crawford 0-3,
Grundy 1-5, Miller 0-2, Sherrill 1-3). Fouled out-None.
Rebounds-Clemson 31 (Hobbs 9), NC State 45 (Thornton 8).
Assists-Clemson 8 (Stockman 3), NC State 16 (Wilkins 7). Total
fouls-Clemson 24, NC State 18.

A-12,492.

                        |------CONFERENCE-------||--------OVERALL--------|
  STANDINGS              W-L     Pct    PF    PA   W-L     Pct    PF PA
  North Carolina......  11-0   1.000  82.1  72.5  21-2    .913  81.0 69.7
  Duke................  10-2    .833  94.7  74.4  22-3    .880  93.3 70.7
  Virginia............   6-6    .500  81.0  81.5  17-6    .739  87.1 74.3
  Wake Forest.........   6-6    .500  75.4  73.4  17-7    .708  78.1 65.5
  Maryland............   6-6    .500  80.8  78.2  15-9    .625  86.5 73.5
  Georgia Tech........   6-6    .500  75.9  80.1  14-9    .609  78.4 73.8
  NC State............   4-7    .364  74.2  75.1  12-11   .522  76.9 72.1
  Florida State.......   2-9    .182  68.6  82.5   7-17   .292  70.8 77.8
  Clemson.............   1-10   .091  73.0  89.9  10-14   .417  76.0 79.5

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