Clemson will play host to Wofford on Saturday at Littlejohn Coliseum at 2:00 PM. It will be the fifth straight year the two teams have met. Clemson holds a 44-14 lead in the series that dates to the first season in Clemson history. Clemson won last year's contest 79-72 at the Civic Center of Anderson behind 19 points apiece from Chris Hobbs and Edward Scott. It was the season opener for both teams.
Wofford enters the game with a 1-1 record, an 81-70 loss at Tennessee on November 21, and an 88-42 romp over Emmanuel College on November 24. Adrien Borders is the top score for Mike Young's team with a 12.0 average, while Justin Stephens is a 10.0 scorer as a reserve.
Both Clemson and Wofford have shown balance in the early season. Wofford averages 79 points per game, but does not have a player with over a 12-point average. But, the Terriers have 10
players averaging five points or more per game. Clemson is scoring 87 points per game and has six players scoring between eight and 16
points per game.
Clemson has a 2-0 record with wins over Gardner-Webb and High Point. The Tigers are shooting 53 percent from the field and has a +15.5 rebounding margin with 41 assists, 17 blocked shots and 21 steals in the two games combined.
Clemson's top scorer is Chris Hobbs with a 16.0 average and a 8.0 rebound average. Sharrod Ford is averaging a double-double with
12.5 points and 10 rebounds per game. Chey Christie is the second
leading scorer with a 14.5 average, up from his 11.5 average of last
Last Year vs. Wofford
Clemson opened its 2002-03 season with a 79-72 victory over
Wofford. Edward Scott and Chris Hobbs both scored 19 points to lead
the Tigers. It would be Hobbs's high scoring game of the year. The
6-7, 260-pounder had seven offensive rebounds and eight total.
Ray Henderson came off the bench to pull down 12 rebounds, as
Clemson won the rebound margin 46-35, including 21 offensive
rebounds. Clemson had just 11 turnovers for the entire game and
Wofford stayed in the game thanks to outstanding three-point
shooting. The Terriers hit 10-23 from long range, while Clemson made
just 1-9. Over the last two years Wofford has outscored Clemson from
three-point land 75-9, but Clemson has won both games.
Clemson held a 49-34 lead at intermission as Sharrod Ford and
Scott had 11 points apiece. Clemson had a +9 rebound margin and hit
54 percent from teh field. The Tigers had just four turnovers on
Clemson opened the lead to 52-34 in the early going of the
second half before Wofford made a strong run. The Terriers connected
on four straight three-point goals during a seven-minute period and
cut the lead to 56-52 with 13:40 left. The margin moved between
four and nine points the rest of the game. Wofford was down just
five (74-69) with 1:48 left, but Chris Hobbs scored on a layup off a
feed from Ford, and Edward Scott and Chey Christie made 3-4 free
throws inside the last 30 seconds to ice the game for the Tigers.
Clemson made just 62.5 percent of its free throws, but did
make more free throws than Wofford attempted. The Terriers made 39
percent from the field overall, but 43 percent from three-point range
Clemson Downs High Point, 88-81
Clemson won its second straight game to open the season when
it defeated High Point, 88-81 on Monday night, November 24 at
Littlejohn Coliseum. All five starters scored in double figures for
Clemson, who shot at least 55 percent from the field in both halves.
Chey Christie led the Tigers with 19 points on 6-9 shooting,
including 2-4 on three-point goals. Sharrod Ford scored 17 points,
had 11 rebounds and five blocked shots in one of his most efficient
games as a Clemson player. He was 8-12 from the field for his 33
minutes of play.
Chris Hobbs had his second consecutive outstanding game on
offense with 15 points and six rebounds. Hobbs hit 6-9 field goals
was 3-3 from the foul line. Olu Babalola and Vernon Hamilton had 12
points apiece. Hamilton also had eight assists and four steals in
his productive 31 minutes.
Clemson shot 34-60 shots from the field, 56.7 percent.
Clemson had 17 assists, 10 blocked shots and 11 steals, but did
commit 21 turnovers. The Tigers won the rebound margin, 38-34.
The contest was close throughout. High Point had an 18-14
lead in the first seven minutes, then Clemson went on a 16-4 run to
take a 30-22 lead on a layup by Chey Christie.
Clemson held a 45-41 lead at intermission.
Clemson moved the lead to 12 points at 61-49 with 15:18 left
on a dunk by Olu Babalola, who scored all 12 of his points in the
second half. But, High Point would not go away. High Point cut the
lead to three points at 67-64 with 8:10 left in the game. But,
Clemson moved the lead back to 10 points with 3:52 left on a jumper
from Babalola from the right side. High Point cut the lead to five
points at 82-77 with 1:20 left on a score by Zione White, who had 26
points on the night for High Point. But Clemson outscored High Point
6-4 the rest of the way and came away with the win.
All Five Starters in Double Figures
One of the characteristics of Oliver Purnell's first Clemson
team has been balance. Clemson had six double figure scorers in the
two exhibition games and now has had five double figure scorers in
each of the first two regular season games. The Tigers currently
have four players averaging between 12.5-16 points per game and two
more averaging between 8-9 points per game.
Clemson had as many as five double figure scorers in a game
just twice all of last year. Clemson had six double figure scorers
in the win at High Point a year ago, and five in a victory over
Coastal Carolina. Over the course of the season Clemson had just two
double figure scorers, Edward Scott and Chey Christie.
Tigers Blocking Shots
Clemson has shown an ability to make some plays on defense so
far this season. The Tigers had 17 blocked shots and 21 steals in
the first two games. Leading the way on terms of blocks is Sharrod
Ford who has seven. His 3.5 blocks per game leads the ACC in the
young season. Shawan Robinson and Vernon Hamilton have six steals
apiece. A year ago, Clemson averaged just 2.6 blocked shots and
7.1 steals per game a year ago.
Ford Records Double-Double
Sharrod Ford has averaged a double-double in the early going
this season. The junior center has a 12.5 scoring average and 10.0
rebound average after two games. He had 17 points and 11 rebounds
in the win over High Point. That was Ford's sixth career
double-double. He had four last year and one as a freshman.
Ford is now shooting 58.2 percent for his career, has 510
points and 319 rebounds for his 60-game career. He has never missed
a game during his Clemson career. Ford ranks second in the ACC in
rebounding and first in blocked shots per contest.
Akingbala Already Above Freshman Stats
One of the most improved players on the Clemson team so far
this year is Akin Akingbala. The sophomore center has 18 points and
16 rebounds in just 34 minutes for the first two games of the season.
All of last season he had 14 points and 17 rebounds, so he has
already eclipsed his stats of last season. Akingbala is much more
agressive on the inside, as his team leading five dunks will attest.
Hobbs Leads Tigers in Opener
Chris Hobbs, the only scholarship senior on the Clemson team,
got his final season off to a great start in the win over
Gardner-Webb. The native of Chapel Hill, NC had 17 points on 8-12
field goal shooting and pulled in nine rebounds in 22 minutes of play.
That was Hobbs most productive performance since the opener
last year when he had 19 points and eight rebounds, including seven
offensive, in a win over Wofford.
Hobbs seemed to be much more involved in the offense. His 12
field goal attempts were the most since January 5, 2002 when he had
15 attempts in a 25 point performance at Georgia Tech. He took as
many as 10 shots in a game just once all of last year. He is ranked
10th in Clemson history in field goal percentage.
In the second contest of the season against High Point he
added 15 points and six rebounds to go with two blocks and a steal
in 29 minutes. He shot 6-9 from the field and is now 14-21 for the
Hobbs averaged just 6.3 points per game in 2002-03, but he
took just 4.6 field goal attempts per game. For his career he now
has 777 points and 542 career rebounds. He has 10 career
double-doubles, more than any other active ACC player.
Tigers Face Wofford Saturday
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