Jan. 25, 2009
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) – Terrence Oglesby hit five 3-pointers and scored 18 points, Trevor Booker had 11 points and 11 rebounds and No. 10 Clemson broke a two-game losing streak with a 73-59 victory over Georgia Tech on Sunday night.
The Tigers (17-2, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) opened the season 16-0. But after losing a top-10 showdown to Wake Forest eight days ago, the Tigers were thumped by North Carolina – running their all-time mark to 0-54 in Chapel Hill.
The Yellow Jackets (9-10, 0-6), the ACC’s last winless team in league play, proved the perfect bounce-back opponent for the Tigers.
Clemson trailed 34-31 just before halftime on Iman Shumpert’s two foul shots, but the Tigers then went on a 28-6 run that spanned the two periods. Oglesby had two of his long-range baskets in the spurt while Booker scored seven points.
When Raymond Sykes jammed home a basket with 9:04 left, the Tigers were ahead 59-40 and cruising to their fifth victory in the last seven meetings with Georgia Tech.
The Yellow Jackets never got closer than 13 points the rest of the way, losing their fifth straight and sixth of their past seven.
Booker had his fifth double-double of the season and first in ACC play, and Gani Lawal – the only player in the ACC to average a double-double – did it again with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
The Tigers also got their trademark pressure defense in gear during their decisive run.
Georgia Tech was held to one field goal – a 3-pointer by Shumpert – for the first 12 minutes of the second half.
Clemson started this one like it was still in Chapel Hill, falling behind 7-0 and missing its first four shots.
The Tigers recovered soon enough. Oglesby hit his first two 3-pointers during a 10-4 run that put them up 23-16 midway through the opening half.
However, the poor shooting and ball handling that cost them in the losses to Wake Forest and North Carolina surfaced again here. The Tigers went 5 minutes without a basket and the Yellow Jackets rallied to lead 34-31 on Shumpert’s foul shots with 1:05 remaining.
But the Tigers got back in front on three free throws, two by Demontez Stitt, and David Potter’s second 3-pointer of the half just before the buzzer made it 37-34 at the break.
It took until the second half for Booker, who came in averaging nearly 15 points a game, to get going. The 6-foot-7 junior was 0-for-3 in the first 20 minutes and the Tiger guards had difficulty finding him under the basket.
But Booker was much more active after the break, hitting two inside baskets in the first 3 minutes.