for this game

Strong second half helps Clemson get back on track

Jan 26, 2009 - 6:02 AM CLEMSON, South Carolina (Ticker) -- After a pair of losses against the upper echelon of the Atlantic Coast Conference, Terrence Oglesby and Clemson were happy to see one of its bottom-feeders.

Oglesby scored 18 points and Trevor Booker had 11 and 11 rebounds as ninth-ranked Clemson bounced back with a 73-59 victory over Georgia Tech on Sunday.

Raymond Sykes and Jerai Grant each added 10 points for the Tigers (17-2, 3-2 ACC), who were coming off consecutive losses to Wake Forest and North Carolina following a 16-0 start.

"Sometimes they listen better after a loss, especially the way we lost to North Carolina," Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said. "I thought we did a lot of things well out there tonight. We stuck to our offensive gameplan, we were able to get the ball inside."

The Yellow Jackets (9-10, 0-6), who remained the lone winless team in the conference, hung tough early before Clemson dominated the final 20 minutes of the contest.

"The last four minutes of the first half and the first four of the second half we got loose and weren't as aggressive as we needed to be," Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said. "There were times we looked so young. Instead of kicking the ball out when we went inside, we would get it blocked. There were just times we could have gone inside better"

The Tigers scored the first seven points during a 19-4 run to open the second half, giving the home team a 56-38 bulge with 11:47 to play. Oglesby connected on a pair of 3-pointers during the run.

Georgia Tech, which started the second half 2-of-11, fell behind by as much as 63-42 with 8:16 remaining and never got closer than 13 the rest of the way.

Clemson scored 22 points off 18 turnovers and held Georgia Tech to 3-of-14 shooting from the arc.

"Defensively, our press led to some turnovers," Purnell said. "I would have liked to see us rebound better but they are a good rebounding team. We could have played better but I'm pleased with the win."

Gani Lawal had 14 points and 10 rebounds to pace the Yellow Jackets, who have lost eight of their past 10 games.

Georgia Tech scored the game's first seven points before Clemson answered with 11 consecutive of its own to take a four-point lead with 13:17 left in the first half.

The Yellow Jackets used a 12-5 run to take a 32-29 lead late in the first half but the Tigers went back in front just before the halftime buzzer as David Potter made a 3-pointer from the left corner for a 37-34 advantage.

"Clemson is a pretty good team," Hewitt said. "They had that one run that put distance between us. We had opportunities and couldn't take advantage of them."