CLEMSON - OP and players talk about Saturday night's 94-55 win over College of Charleston.
Clemson torches CofC 94-55
"We were bad and you've got to give them a lot of credit for making us look bad," he said. "They gave us a knock-out punch early and we just didn't respond.
"They're a very good team and they played very well tonight."
Clemson jumped out to a 21-7 lead eight minutes into the game. After a time-out, College of Charleston responded with a 6-0 run, bringing the score to 21-13. The Tigers called time-out and didn't allow the score to get that close the rest of the way.
"We got after our guys a little bit and picked it right up (after calling time-out)," said coach Oliver Purnell. "We stayed after it after that."
Of College of Charleston's 18 turnovers, Clemson had 12 steals. The Tigers out-rebounded the Cougars 45-26 and forced a 34 percent shooting percentage from the field. In the first half, College of Charleston went 2-of-11 from behind the 3-point line and finished the game 8-for-27.
On a day that saw several upsets in college basketball, including Wofford's 68-61 over South Carolina, Purnell though his team moved forward with the win.
Purnell said the team moved forward with the win. That wasn't the case in the 80-63 win over East Carolina on Wednesday.
With hopes of moving forward on Saturday, Purnell started Noel Johnson in place of David Potter. Johnson scored seven points in 17 minutes on the floor.
"It was a gut feeling. I wanted to change the mix up a little bit…I don't want complacency to set it," Purnell said.
Jerai Grant said it's typical of the Tigers to not overlook an opponent, no matter what the name on the opposing jersey says.
"We treat every team the same, whether it was UNC or Duke, it doesn't matter. It's the same game plan with us," he said. "We attack. We go inside and go strong."
Clemson improved to 10-2 on the season in a total team effort while College of Charleston fell to 5-4.
"I thought all of our guys pitched in," Purnell said. "We gang rebounded really well, ran well and just kind of shared the ball." Grant led the Tigers with 12 points, making all six of his shots from the field. Purnell believes the presence of Trevor Booker and "pretty good" penetrating guards affords Grant chances for easy baskets.
"His guy helps out and he's going to get an opportunity to finish at the basket. He did a good job with that," Purnell said.
Trevor Booker also reached double figures, scoring 10. Donte Hill scored a career-high 11, most of his points coming in the paint after offensive rebounds.
"It was a good game and good to see a lot of guys get a lot of opportunities to play. Most everybody played well," Purnell said.
Purnell said Hill played as well as anyone Saturday night.
"It wasn't like I was creating my own shots," he said. "It's like coach Purnell has told me, ‘Just keep working hard and have a defensive mindset--keep playing hard and things will go well.'"
Clemson takes on its second-straight Southern Conference opponent when Western Carolina travels to Littlejohn Coliseum on Tuesday night at 7:30.
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