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Same Old Song and Dance
Posted Feb 24, 2007
The inability to score from the outside, inside and free throw line with any sort of consistency has been the root of Clemson’s demise the last six weeks. It was no different at Boston College as the Tigers continue what is literally becoming the biggest collapse in ACC history.
The Tigers scored just four points over the first six minutes of the second half and just three points over an eight-minute span at the end of the game as Boston College took the 59-54 victory Saturday afternoon at Conte Forum.
Clemson is now 19-9 overall and 5-9 in the ACC after having started 17-0 and being the last team in the nation without a loss. The Tigers are 2-9 over their last 11 and appear to be in an unstoppable freefall.
“Our guys kind of hung in there until the last six or seven minutes of the ball game,” Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said. “We had chances there at the end and we came up dry.”
No one came up emptier than Tigers forward Sam Perry, who was 0-for-7 from the field, 1-2 from the free throw line and had only two rebounds in 25 minutes of play.
And of those seven misses for Perry, four of them were within two feet of the basket. As a team, Clemson had nine misses from pointblank range in the second half.
Inexplicably, while Perry was getting all those minutes, James Mays, the leading scorer and rebounder on the season for the Tigers, was sitting on the bench. He played just 15 minutes and it wasn’t because of foul trouble.
His line looked similar to Perry’s as Mays scored just one point on 0-for-4 shooting from the field and 1-for-4 shooting from the free throw line in nearly half the playing time. He only had two rebounds, while compiling three turnovers.
However, it wasn’t any better from the outside either for the Tigers, as they went 2-of-10 from 3-point range in the second half, which helps explain why they were 8-of-30 from the field over the final 20 minutes.
Conversely, Boston College (19-9, 10-5 ACC) shot 63 percent from the field in the second half.
“When you look at our shooting percentage and their shooting percentage in the second half, it’s certainly tough to overcome that,” Purnell said. “If you’re not going to shoot the ball well from three, you have to convert layups.”
Another typical problem for Clemson came from the free throw line as it made just 6-of-12 free throws, while the Eagles converted 15-of-18.
The few bright spots for the Tigers came in the form of Trevor Booker, K.C. Rivers and Matt Morris.
Booker recorded his first double-double in an ACC game by scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. He also had four blocks, three assists and two steals.
Rivers finally found his shooting touch and had 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting to go along with six rebounds.
Morris played nine minutes and scored eight points, though three of them were a gift from a goaltending call. He also added a rebound and a steal.
It causes one to wonder why he’s been on the bench and David Potter gets so much playing time.
“(Matt’s) been doing a tremendous job for us in practice and he understands what we’re doing,” Purnell said. “He can really shoot the ball well.”
Up next for Clemson is its final home game of the year when Miami comes to town Wednesday night. It is also the final home game in the career of senior point guard Vernon Hamilton.
In order for the Tigers to make the NIT, this has become a must-win game. If Clemson loses, it could easily end the season 2-12 over its last 14 games and on a seven-game losing streak.
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