Rivers, Clemson rout Miami in ACC openerDec 22, 2008 - 4:51 AM CORAL GABLES, Florida (Ticker) -- Clemson's response to a tough start in league play was nearly as perfect as its record.
K.C. Rivers scored 28 points as No. 25 Clemson had a great start to Atlantic Coast Conference play, using a big first-half push to propel it a 91-72 victory over Miami on Sunday.
Terrence Oglesby had 17 points - all after halftime - and Demontez Stitt chipped in 10 for the Tigers (12-0, 1-0 ACC), who beat the Hurricanes for just the third time in the last nine meetings.
"We are very pleased to kick off the ACC season with a road win because they are very difficult to get," Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said. "Our guys came in with the proper mindset that you need to win going on the road against a good team."
Miami actually controlled play early, racing out to a 21-9 lead with 8:37 expired behind a 17-2 run.
Yet, Clemson kept up its pressure, forcing Miami into a handful of turnovers. It went on a 16-0 run to pull ahead, 25-21, and eventually grabbed a 38-30 lead at the half.
"That is our game," Purnell said of the full-court pressure. "That is why we have been successful for the last few years. Sometimes it can hurt you right away, but sometimes it has a good effect. I thought tonight it was both."
"No, we were definitely prepared for everything they did," Miami guard Jack McClinton said. "We just didn't go out there and execute. We knew everything they were going to bring to us,
and it just comes down to being tough and making plays. And today we just didn't do that."
The Tigers, who went 10-6 in ACC last season, continued to roll after the break, building a double-digit lead and going ahead, 61-47, with 10:53 remaining after Rivers knocked down consecutive 3-pointers.
"We didn't look back after we took the lead," Rivers said. "The guys understand that. Last
year we did that and then we let up, but we remember what happened then and will push harder this year."
"K.C. Rivers continues to lead us," Purnell said. "He is an all-ACC player but we had a great performance from a lot of guys. Our big guys did well. I thought our guards played very well."
Clemson had very few issues thereafter, going on to start a season 12-0 for the second time in three years.
McClinton scored 20 points for the Hurricanes (7-3, 0-1), who committed 22 turnovers in seeing a three-game winning streak snapped.
"Obviously that was a butt-whooping," Miami coach Frank Haith said. "Those guys gave it to us. They were tougher than we were. Mentally we weren't tough, we missed free throws and turned the ball over. That was the difference in the game. They played tough hard-nosed basketball and they went after us."
Despite issues protecting the ball, Miami made a push to get back in the game after falling behind by 11 points early in the second half.
McClinton split a pair of free throws and set up two layups as the Hurricanes put together a 6-0 run to close within 52-47 with 12:57 left.
Yet, Oglesby came back with a big 3-pointer for the Tigers, highlighting the sophomore sharpshooter's big second half.
After missing his first four shots of the game in the opening 20 minutes, Oglesby made 7-of-12 shots afterwards, including three 3-pointers, en route to tying a season high in points.
Trevor Booker, Clemson's leading scorer, also had some issues with his stroke, going 4-of-12. Yet, he ended up with eight points and grabbed 16 rebounds.
Cyrus McGowan scored 11 points and Dwayne Collins added 10 for Miami, which lost its league opener for the first time in three years.
- NCAA BB
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
CLEMSON (25) 38 53 91
MIAMI FL 30 42 72 FINAL
Dec 21 9:43 PM
- NCAA BB
(25) CLEMSON 38
MIAMI FL 30 HALFTIME
Dec 21 8:51 PM
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