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Hot-shooting Clemson takes down Gardner-Webb

Nov 24, 2007 - 9:04 PM CLEMSON, South Carolina (Ticker) -- Cliff Hammonds was in no mood to be upset.

Hammonds scored 12 of his 16 points in the first half as No. 22 Clemson raced to a big lead en route to a 96-67 victory over Gardner-Webb on Saturday.

Having won three of its first four games by double digits, Clemson (5-0) was facing a Gardner-Webb team which already owns a shocking 84-67 road triumph at then-No. 20 Kentucky on November 6.

Hammonds made sure the Tigers would not have to endure many tense moments. He was the catalyst for a quick start, drilling four of his five 3-pointers in the first half, which ended with the Tigers holding a comfortable 53-36 advantage.

Two of Hammonds' shots from the arc in the first half came during a 14-4 spurt that gave the Tigers a double-digit lead with under eight minutes remaining.

K.C. Rivers added 10 of his 13 points in the opening half, when Clemson shot a blistering 61 percent (19-of-31) and made 8-of-13 attempts from 3-point range.

The Tigers, who led by double digits the entire second half, shot 51 percent (34-of-67) overall, including 11-of-19 from the arc.

"We played pretty well. It helps when you shoot well from the field and especially from the three," Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said. "Our preparation was good and it paid off today."

Terrence Oglesby and Trevor Booker scored 15 points apiece for the Tigers, who placed five players in double figures.

Clemson went 17-of-31 at the free-throw line, compared to just 7-of-10 for Gardner-Webb (4-4).

Fast starts continue to be the norm for Clemson, which opened 11-0 in 2005-06 and 17-0 last season. However, the Tigers missed the NCAA Tournament last season.

Nate Blank scored 16 points, Thomas Sanders 15 and Aaron Linn 14 for the Bulldogs, who continued their challenging early season schedule.

Since the stunning win over Kentucky, Gardner-Webb has lost four of its last five games. It has been a brutal stretch for the Tigers, who also lost twice to Connecticut and Oklahoma in the last nine days.

"We knew Clemson was quality," Gardner-Webb coach Rick Scruggs said. "We knew they were going to be tough. We agreed that was the best team we've played all around. UConn was huge and Kentucky had some skill, but as a team, Clemson is deeper and can shoot it a little better. Clemson was the first team to really take us out of the game."

    --- --- -----
    GARDNER-WEBB 36 31 67
    CLEMSON (22) 53 43 96 FINAL

    Nov 24 1:51 PM


    Nov 24 12:50 PM