Tigers Upset #12 North Carolina

The Clemson Tigers defeated the 12th ranked North Carolina Tar Heels for the fourth time in six years at Littlejohn Coliseum, 81-72. Shawan Robinson led the way for Clemson with 24 points, by connecting on 5-of-6 from behind the arc.

Perhaps you could make the case that North Carolina has had more success than any other team in the ACC at Littlejohn Coliseum. After all, UNC has won more games at Clemson then any other Atlantic Coast Conference opponent.

But at the same time, when considering the recent success of Clemson against the Tar Heels, it appears as though that trend is on the verge of reversing itself.

The Tigers as a team shot 11-of-13 from 3-point range Saturday afternoon at Littlejohn Coliseum to help pave the way for an impressive 11-point win over 12th ranked North Carolina.

Clemson jumped out ahead early and never really looked back, taking a double digit lead in the first half, and maintaining it throughout the course of the game.

UNC went ahead in the early stages of the first half 17-14, before the Tigers went on a nice run to take a 43-34 halftime advantage.

The second half saw the Tigers keep North Carolina in check, with clutch three-point shooting by Shawan Robinson and Chey Christie, and a nice defensive effort in the interior against the Tar Heels' Sean May (8 points) and Jawad Williams (10 points).

"Our defense has been real consistent all year, but we knew that sooner or later we'd have a night like this. We've been closer and closer and we needed a breakthrough win, and that's what we got today," said head coach Oliver Purnell.

Rashaad McCants led the way for UNC with 27 points. Robinson paced 5 double figure scorers for the Tigers with 24. Chris Hobbs led the way on the boards with 8.

"It seemed like I just kept getting open shots today," said Robinson after the game. "Carolina is a real good defensive team, but our shots were falling for us."

Saturday's win represents the fourth time in six years that Clemson has defeated UNC at home. The victory was also the first win for the Tigers over a ranked team during the Oliver Purnell era at Clemson University.

"Congratulations to Clemson and Oliver, I have been trying to follow his team a little bit," said UNC head coach Roy Williams after the game.

"I think I saw one quote where he said he'd like to have a game where they made some jump shots and things would go a little smoother. They did that today – I think if you asked him he might like to have a few of those shots in some other games instead of hitting so many in one game."

With the win, the Tigers improve to 9-10 overall, and 2-6 in conference play. Clemson next battles Duke next Sunday at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Tip off is set for 7:30.

Williams 5-12 0-2 10, McCants 9-15 7-8 26, May 3-7 2-3 8, Scott 4-8 0-0 12, Felton 3-8 1-2 8, Manuel 1-2 0-0 2, Grant 0-0 0-0 0, Noel 3-6 0-2 6, Sanders 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-58 10-17 72.

CLEMSON (9-10)
Babalola 4-8 4-6 14, Hobbs 1-2 1-2 3, Ford 4-7 5-8 13, Christie 4-6 0-0 11, Robinson 8-13 3-6 24, Rice 0-1 0-0 0, Hamilton 2-6 5-8 10, Akingbala 2-2 2-3 6. Totals 25-45 20-33 81.

3-Point goals-North Carolina 6-19 (Scott 4-7, Felton 1-2, McCants 1-6, Williams 0-4), Clemson 11-13 (Robinson 5-6, Christie 3-4, Babalola 2-2, Hamilton 1-1). Fouled out- Manuel, Akingbala. Rebounds-North Carolina 27 (Williams 6), Clemson 34 (Hobbs 8). Assists-North Carolina 12 (Felton 7), Clemson 15 (Hamilton 4). Total fouls-North Carolina 25, Clemson 17. A-10,000.

Other Notes
* Clemson shot 85% from 3-point range Saturday, a team record be connecting on 11-of-13 shots from behind the arc.

* Shawan Robinson set a career high in points for the second consecutive game with 24 points. The last two games have also been the only two that the North Carolina native has started.

* The Tigers will not take the court again for another 8 days.

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