MOORE HITS GAME WINNER

COLUMBIA – It's been a good couple of weeks for Clemson against South Carolina. While the football team routed the Gamecocks, the basketball game came down to the final seconds and a marvelous shot by a freshman. <br>

Box Score | 2004-05 Schedule

Tigers forward Cheyenne Moore drilled a deep 3-point shot from the left wing with 3.4 seconds left in overtime to give Clemson the 63-62 victory Saturday night in front of 17,828 fans at the Colonial Center.

Prior to the shot, Moore was a woeful 2-of-15 from beyond the arc this season. And taking that final shot wasn't his first choice.

"I came off the pick, caught it and I was looking for Cheyenne on the baseline, but he hadn't got there," Moore said. "I saw my man was picked, so I took a dribble and took the shot and just prayed. …

"I was like 0-for-80. I just wanted one more opportunity."

The shot hit nothing but net. Tigers coach Oliver Purnell said as soon as it left Moore's hand he knew it was good.

"You want to get an open shot in that situation," he said. "To get that open of a shot, I was happy."

The victory is the first road win for Clemson under Purnell. The Tigers were 0-11 coming into the game. The win also ended a four-game winning streak by South Carolina between the two teams.

The Tigers now improve to 4-1, while South Carolina falls to 4-1.

"There were a whole range of emotions for us," Robinson said. "There were times where we just could have folded and we didn't. We battled through and got the win."

Robinson finished with 18 points to pace the Tigers, while teammate Cliff Hammonds added 17. Moore finished with seven. South Carolina's Tre Kelley was the only Gamecocks player to score more than 10. He finished with 22.

Equally as amazing as Moore's shot was the fact that the Tigers made their comebacks without the services of senior forwards Sharrod Ford and Olu Babalola. Each were fouled out in regulation.

The Gamecocks jumped to a quick lead in overtime as Kelley hit a couple of shots to give them a four-point lead at 55-51 with 4:25 to go. Each team then exchanged baskets and Clemson trailed by four with 1:24 left to play and Robinson at the free throw line.

After making the first, he missed the second but the Tigers got the rebound and it was kicked out to Hammonds, who promptly drained a 3-pointer from the left wing with 1:19 left to tie it at 60.

A missed shot by South Carolina and a turnover by Clemson's Vern Hamilton led to South Carolina's Carlos Powell hitting two free throws with 13.7 seconds left to give the Gamecocks a 62-60 lead and set up Moore's heroics.

"It truly was one of the weirdest games I've ever been a part of," South Carolina coach Dave Odom said. "We should have closed them out and we didn't get the thing done."

Trailing 49-43 with 3:00 remaining in the game, the Tigers made one final push to grab the lead. Hammonds made two consecutive baskets to trim the Gamecocks lead to 49-47 with 1:52 left.

After a missed one-and-one free throw by Powell with 1:22 left, Robinson tied it at 49-49 with a running bank shot with 1:09 left to play.

Gamecocks guard Rocky Trice missed a 3-pointer from the left wing and to set up the go-ahead free throws by Robinson with 19.4 seconds left.

Kelley hit a running shot with 4.7 seconds left to tie it at 51. A desperation shot by Hammonds fell short at the buzzer to send it into overtime.

Each team started the second half the way they played the entire first half – very sluggish.

But South Carolina played somewhat better and finally grabbed the lead for the first time on a Renaldo Balkman layup with 14:28 left to play.

The Gamecocks eventually got the lead as high as eight at 45-37 with 6:23 left to play.

The play by both teams in the first half set basketball back 100 years.

The Gamecocks managed just one field goal over the first 11 minutes of the game. However, it wasn't much better on Clemson's side. The Tigers held a scant 13-5 lead with 8:27 left to play in the first half.

The Tigers shot just 28 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes, but South Carolina was even worse at 23.1 percent. Making matters worse were the 12 turnovers by Clemson and the 10 turnovers by the Gamecocks.

It all added up to a 25-22 Tigers lead at intermission.

Needless to say, those 20 minutes of game film will be burned as soon as each team is done watching it.

Hammonds led the way for the Tigers with 10 points in the first half, while Brandon Wallace and Kelley each had six to pace the Gamecocks.

"I think they didn't come out awed and intimidated by the large crowd," Purnell said. "I thought our defense was outstanding early, but we couldn't score."

Up next for Clemson is a home game against Charleston Southern next Saturday. Game time is 7 p.m.

"It's a young team and every big win that you get can be a confidence builder," Purnell said. "We've just got to be careful not to be overconfident and go over the edge.

"They're a happy bunch and the bus ride home won't be very long."

CLEMSON (4-1) Hamilton 1-5 2-2 4, Allen 0-1 0-0 0, Ford 1-7 5-8 7, Babalola 3-8 0-2 6, Moore 3-8 0-0 7, Hudson 0-1 0-0 0, Robinson 6-16 3-4 18, Hammonds 6-9 1-2 17, Perry 0-0 0-0 0, Akingbala 1-1 2-2 4, Mays 0-1 0-1 0. Totals 21-57 13-21 63.

SOUTH CAROLINA (4-1) Powell 3-8 2-3 8, Kinsey 0-7 0-2 0, Wallace 3-8 2-4 8, Kelley 9-13 1-3 22, Gonner 1-3 0-0 2, McDowell 1-2 0-0 2, Trice 2-6 1-2 6, Tisby 1-4 3-6 5, Balkman 3-8 3-5 9. Totals 23-59 12-25 62.

Halftime- Clemson 25-22. Regulation- Tied 51. 3-Point goals- Clemson 8-23 (Babalola 0-2, Moore 1-4, Hudson 0-1, Robinson 3-10, Hammonds 4-6), South Carolina 4-14 (Kinsey 0-2, Wallace 0-3, Kelley 3-5, Gonner 0-1, Trice 1-3). Fouled out- Babalola, Ford. Rebounds-Clemson 46 (Ford 8), South Carolina 38 (Balkman 10). Assists- Clemson 10 (Robinson 4), South Carolina 12 (Tisby 3). Total fouls- Clemson 26, South Carolina 22. A- 17,828.

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