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Goldwire's 21 points helps Charlotte upset Clemson

Jan 10, 2008 - 5:39 AM CLEMSON, South Carolina (Ticker) -- Leemire Goldwire responded well after a particularly bad performance.

Goldwire scored 14 of his 21 points in the first half and also grabbed 10 rebounds as Charlotte upset No. 19 Clemson, 82-72, on Wednesday.

Charlie Coley scored 14 points and Lamont Mack added 13 for the 49ers (9-5), who snapped a five-game losing streak to ranked opponents.

"We beat a great team tonight," Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz said. "We played a great game against a heck of a squad, on the road. It's the best win we've had in a couple years and gives us some confidence going into A-10 (Atlantic 10 Conference) play."

Charlotte, which improved to 2-2 vs. teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference this season, watched as Goldwire respond after a horrendous shooting night in his previous game.

The 5-11 senior guard, who entered this contest leading the 49ers in scoring at 19.0 points, shot a season-worst 3-of-17 from the field in a 76-72 loss to Maryland on Saturday. He was also just 2-of-12 from 3-point range.

"We're 9-5 and have won a lot of close games," Lutz said. "The biggest thing is when you lose, how do your guys respond? Coming after the Maryland game, I'm very pleased. We just have to be careful because we play Temple Saturday, but this is a good way to end our out of conference schedule."

Against Clemson, Goldwire went 7-of-13 from the floor, including three baskets from the arc, for Charlotte, which had lost four of its previous five meetings with the Tigers.

Behind Goldwire's 14 first-half points, the 49ers held a 41-30 advantage at the break. Included in that was an 11-2 run by Charlotte, a costly stretch according to Clemson coach Oliver Purnell.

"The 49ers spread us and were patient," he said. "They worked harder offensively than we did defensively, and were able to get into the paint. The (11-2) stretch at the end of the first half where they expanded the lead really hurt."

Trevor Booker scored a career-high 32 points and hauled in 11 boards and freshman Demontez Stitt scored 13 for Clemson (12-3), which has dropped two in a row, including a 90-88 loss to No. 1 North Carolina on Sunday.

"We caught them at the right time I think," Lutz said. "If North Carolina was No. 1, then they weren't far behind."

Asked if his team had an emotional hangover from the loss to the Tar Heels on Sunday, Purnell was very succinct.

"Apparently so," he said.

Charlotte shot 48 percent (28-of-60) while Clemson finished 39 percent (25-of-65).

"Charlotte outhustled, outscrapped, outplayed us, and just beat us," Purnell added. "I was very disappointed with the way we played and the way we handled the mental challenge."