Jan. 21, 2012
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) – Glen Rice Jr. scored 15 of his 19 points in the final five minutes to rally Georgia Tech but fell short 64-62 to Clemson on Saturday.
Andre Young had career highs with 29 points and seven 3-pointers for Clemson.
The Tigers (10-9, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) snapped a three-game losing streak, but watched a 16-point lead nearly disappear over the final six minutes. Jason Morris’ 3-pointer with 23.5 seconds left drew Georgia Tech within three points at 62-59.
But Young followed with a pair of foul shots to extend the lead and beat the Yellow Jackets (8-11, 1-4) for a fourth straight time.
Young, a senior, surpassed his previous high of 22 points, an accomplishment that last took place in Clemson’s NCAA tournament loss to West Virginia last March.
But Glen Rice Jr., who had only four points in the game’s first 35 minutes, scored 15 points in the final five minutes as Georgia Tech shrunk Clemson’s lead from 16 points to 61-56 with 35 seconds to go.
Young made one of two foul shots and Morris drew Georgia Tech closer with his 3-pointer. But Young’s final points were enough to for the Tigers, despite Mfon Udofia’s closing 3-pointer with 1.4 seconds left that led to the final margin.
Young took the inbounds pass and tucked the ball under his arms as time ran out.
Young finished 9 of 12 from the field, including 7 of 9 from beyond the arc. No one else on Clemson reached double figures in scoring.
Rice added eight rebounds while Udofia had 10 points.
Clemson and Georgia Tech both entered with ACC losing streaks and, as one-win teams, were only ahead of winless Virginia Tech in the 12-team league.
Tigers coach Brad Brownell shook up his starters, giving reserves Bryan Narcisse and Catalin Baciu spots in the opening lineup and sitting leading rebounder Devin Booker for the first time this season.
Neither team, however, could get in synch early on. The Yellow Jackets and Tigers were a combined 4-of-18 shooting and the game languished. Twice Brownell swapped out all five players on the floor.
Things weren’t much better for Georgia Tech. Its top two scorers, Rice Jr. and Udofia, picked up two fouls halfway through the period and spend significant time on the bench.
Clemson was ahead 13-10 with 5:56 left in the opening half when the lights went dark at Littlejohn Coliseum. Officials blamed a power surge that left part of campus without electricity.
The delay lasted 22 minutes. When the lights finally came back on, so did Clemson’s shooting touch, powered by Young.
The Tigers senior guard had made one 3-pointer and had trouble finding open shots against the Yellow Jackets before the delay. After, Young was practically unstoppable.
He made three consecutive 3-pointers, then drove the lane for a basket and got fouled for a three-point play. Young finished off the charge with his fifth three, tying his career best mark for outside goals.
Young’s last long-range shot of the half put the Tigers ahead 28-15.
The Yellow Jackets finished with just six baskets and 17 turnovers in the half. Rice and Udofia were a combined 1 of 4 for 5 points.