Booker leads No. 22 Clemson past UNCG, 89-67Nov 21, 2009 - 2:49 AM By JOEDY McCREARY AP Sports Writer
GREENSBORO, N.C.(AP) -- If this is what passes for a tight game for No. 22 Clemson, the Tigers will take it.
For the first time, a team kept it closer than 40 points against them - but it still wasn't enough to test them for 40 minutes.
As a result, Clemson routed North Carolina-Greensboro 89-67 on Friday night behind a season-high 17 points from Trevor Booker.
Milton Jennings added 14 points for the Tigers (3-0), Andre Young had 13 and David Potter finished with 11. Clemson shot 54.5 percent, forced 23 turnovers, broke it open by closing the first half with a huge run and extended its school-record winning streak in non-conference road games to 11.
Clemson won its 29th straight game in November since 2005. Their previous two have come by 43 points against Presbyterian and 40 at Liberty.
"It just says that we've got a lot of talent. Defensively, we're there. We've got to keep working," Potter said. "We've just got to learn not to let up in the second half, when we know we've got the game (in hand). We've got to have that killer instinct. ... Once we start to develop more as a team and understanding more what coach wants on the defensive end, I think we're going to be great."
Brandon Evans had a season-high 17 points and Ben Stywall added 13 to lead UNC Greensboro (0-3). All of the Spartans' losses have come against ACC schools, and they fell to 1-29 against the conference. Their ambitious schedule includes half of the ACC's 12 teams.
"This ACC business, they're good teams," UNC Greensboro coach Mike Dement said. "The fact of the matter is, I'm pretty proud of the way we battled these last three games. I'm not sure an ACC team would be ready to play three ACC games in a row, but we've done it, and I think we learned a lot from it and gained a lot from it."
For Clemson, it was an early season chance to get comfortable in a building they'll visit again in a few months - when the stakes will be considerably higher.
The Tigers were one of four ACC teams playing at the Greensboro Coliseum, the site of this season's conference tournament. None of the current players had been here before; Clemson hadn't appeared in Greensboro since the 2006 ACC tournament.
"Hopefully, we will have a good feeling about this building the next time we come in here," Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said.
After a slow start - well, by their standards, anyway - the Tigers made themselves right at home.
They closed the first half with a 17-2 run in which they hit three 3s and stretched their lead into double figures for good. Young had six points during the spurt, knocking down a 3 with a hand in his face moments before converting a three-point play, and Booker capped the run with a free throw that made it 42-24 with 42.1 seconds left.
Clemson came away with points on 10 of its last 13 possessions of the first half while holding UNC Greensboro to one field goal during the final 5 minutes.
Before that, the Spartans kept things tight mainly because foul-prone Clemson kept sending them to the line. UNC Greensboro missed 10 of its first 11 attempts and shot 22 percent in the first half, but hit 10 of 14 free throws.
"We played well for the last 32, 35 minutes of the game," Purnell said. "I thought we came out just a hair sluggish, but the work that we put in the last couple of days ... We got after our guys a little bit, and it kind of came to the surface."
Demontez Stitt made it a 20-point game with a layup with 18:44 to play, and Booker pushed it into the 30s with a three-point play with 7:49 remaining.
"We have a lot of potential (but) right now, we need to stay focused," Clemson guard Tanner Smith said. "Sometimes, these early games, you can come out and not be as intense as you need to be. We did a good job."
- NCAA BB
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
CLEMSON (22) 42 47 89
NORTH CAROLINA GREEN 24 43 67 FINAL
HIGH SCORERS: CLEMSON - TREVOR BOOKER 17, MILTON JENNINGS 14,
ANDRE YOUNG 13
NORTH CAROLINA GREENSBORO - BRANDON EVANS 17, BEN STYWALL 13, TWO
PLAYERS WITH 7
Nov 20 9:09 PM
- NCAA BB
CLEMSON (22) 42
UNC GREENSBORO 24 HALFTIME
Nov 20 7:59 PM
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