Hurricanes Blow Away Clemson
Cliff Hammonds

Posted Jan 18, 2006

Even though the Clemson basketball team was playing in South Beach, the Tigers couldn’t throw it in the ocean. It was the worst night scoring wise for them in over six years. And as one would expect, the outcome wasn’t pretty.

Clemson made just 15 shots for the entire game and failed to even average a point a minute as Miami cruised to the 62-38 blowout Wednesday night at the Convocation Center Coral Gables.

It was the lowest point output for the Tigers since scoring 35 against Oregon State in 1999. Obviously, the shooting was the main reason why as Clemson made only 15 its 59 field goal attempts, including 4-of-28 from three-point distance.

If that wasn’t enough, the Tigers struggled again from the free throw line, making just 4-of-11 shots. In the last two games, Clemson is a combined 10-of-32 from the free throw line.

“We went stone cold for three-quarters of the game, and maybe I’m being generous,” Tigers coach Oliver Purnell said. “When that happens, your defense needs to be near perfect.”

And it wasn’t as the Hurricanes (11-6, 3-1 ACC) converted 46 percent of their attempts. The three-headed guard combination for Miami combined for nearly half of their team’s points as Guillermo Diaz scored 12, followed by Robert Hite’s 11 and Anthony Harris’ 10.

Conversely, freshman K.C. Rivers led Clemson (13-5, 2-3 ACC) with 8 points.

To get a sense of just how bad it was for the Tigers, consider that guard Shawan Robinson was a horrific 1-of-9, while Vernon Hamilton was 2-of-10. Moreover, Julius Powell and Cliff Hammonds were each 1-of-7. That adds up to 5-of-33 shooting between the four.

“We certainly weren’t sharp,” Purnell said. “Cliff couldn’t buy one and we couldn’t score from point-blank. It’s one of those games that happens every now and then in your coaching career.”

Clemson actually led by 11 at 14-3 on a Robinson jump shot with 12:23 left in the first half. But it was all down hill from there as the Hurricanes rallied to take a 27-21 lead into halftime.

And when the whistle blew to start the second half, it got even uglier for the Tigers as Miami opened the second half on a 26-8 run, including 16-0 at one point, to blow it wide open.

What caused Clemson so much trouble was the zone that the Hurricanes went to when they trailed early in the first half.

“Against the zone, you’ve got to be able to make jump shots,” Purnell said. “Otherwise, that zone is going to get tighter and tighter.”

In the freakish stat of the night, the Tigers actually outrebounded Miami 43-33 overall and an incredible 23-8 on the offensive end. Yet, they still got beat easily.

Up next for Clemson is a road game at noon, Saturday at Georgia Tech. It’s a realistic chance for the Tigers to even their conference record.

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Clemson - Miami Game Notes
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Buzz Kill
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