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Oglesby, Clemson sink South Carolina, improve to 13-0

Dec 31, 2008 - 6:19 AM COLUMBIA, South Carolina (Ticker) -- Terrence Oglesby's marksmanship kept Clemson from losing its perfect start.

Oglesby notched a career high with 25 points as No. 16 Clemson extended its undefeated start with an 98-87 victory over South Carolina on Tuesday.

K.C. Rivers had 20 points and Trevor Booker added 18 and 10 rebounds for the Tigers, who overcame a poor start to improve to 13-0.

Committing turnovers on three of its first four possessions, Clemson fell behind, 14-3, over the first four-plus minutes.

Yet, the Tigers quickly pulled themselves together, going on a 14-4 run to take a 22-21 edge with 10:01 remaining. Oglesby scored the final five points of the burst, hitting one of his six 3-pointers.

Clemson also went on a 15-2 spurt in the closing minutes of the opening half, grabbing a 54-37 cushion with 67 seconds left.

This was the second straight game that the Tigers trailed by double digits early before going on to win. They found themselves down 20-9 against Miami on December 21 before going on to win their Atlantic Coast Conference opener, 91-72.

"We just kept our poise," Booker told the State. "This is a smart team. Composure is big on this team."

Oglesby contributed 11 points before the break, hitting 3-of-4 3-pointers.

Overall, the sophomore sharpshooter went 6-of-10 from the arc, hitting some key shots when South Carolina tried to get back in the game.

"As long as he plays within himself and he's patient, he's like an assassin out there," Clemson coach Oliver Purnell told The State about Oglesby.

"Those all came at crucial times when we had started to make a little run or gained a little momentum," South Carolina coach Darrin Horn told the newspaper about the big shots from Oglesby.

"If those don't go down and we can get a score, it just kind of changes the way the game goes."

The Tigers extended the cushion to 18 points after intermission, but the Gamecocks managed to close within 89-81 with 1:37 to play on a steal and layup by Devan Downey.

South Carolina (9-2) would get no closer as Clemson scored nine of the final 14 points - mainly at the free-throw line.

A 68-percent free-throw shooting team coming in, the Tigers made 16-of-20 from the stripe in improving to 4-0 on the road this season.

Freshman Andre Young had 13 points and eight assists and Raymond Sykes scored 11 for the Tigers, who shot 55 percent (36-of-65), including 10-of-21 on 3-pointers.

Downey attempted to carry the Gamecocks to their first victory over the Tigers in five games, scoring a career-high 37 points.

Downey went 14-of-21 from the field, but committed eight of South Carolina's 17 turnovers. Clemson converted those in 29 points.

Zam Fredrick scored 19 points and Mike Holmes chipped in 13 and 11 rebounds for the Gamecocks.