That is why it is so sweet when you beat them, and so horrible when you lose to them.
And lose is exactly what Clemson did Sunday afternoon in Littlejohn Coliseum. Adam Boone registered his first 20-point game of his career to help lead the Heels to their first win in their 6 games.
"I told Matt after the game, I thought they totally broke our will. They did it early with jump shots, and late with inside play. When you've lost 6 in a row, you are battling some potential problems. Lang had been out for 3 games, and they had new life- we did not." said Clemson Head Coach Larry Shyatt.
"I think the problems we have are internal, and we've got to get those fixed because we are a good young ball club. Adam got them off to a great start. He made some uncharistically long shots. He was well beyond the 3-point line and he drained him all."
(AP, Mary Ann Chastain)
North Carolina ran their offense to perfection in the first half and as a result, jumped out to a 45-38 halftime lead. Adam Boone led the way early for the Heels with 13 points, courtesy of 4 3-pointers. Thomas Nagys kept the Tigers close early on with 11 first half points, most of which came from the free throw line.
The second half was more of the same, North Carolina continued to make their outside shots, while the Tigers continued to miss. North Carolina packed their defense in tight giving the Tigers multiple open looks from behind the arc, the only problem was nobody could make a shot.
Clemson would miss their first 6 three point attempts of the 2nd half to allow UNC to build on their halftime lead. The Heels would jump out to their largest lead of the game at 61-46 right at the 11-minute mark. Kris Lang and Jason Capel would each draw their fourth foul soon afterwards, but it wouldn't matter.
UNC would open up a 22-point lead at the 5-minute mark and the game was pretty much as good as over. With the loss, the Tigers fall to 11-10 and 2-6 in conference play.
And if you are a Tiger basketball fan, it doesn't get any easier. Clemson's next game will be against the #1 ranked Duke Blue Devils next Sunday night at Littlejohn Coliseum. Duke has lost a grand total of one game all season long.
Larry Shyatt Quotes:
"We had some problems internally that surfaced today. There was a little bit of individualism and selfishness today. I thought that had as much an effect today as did Carolina's brillance."
"Our effort has been so magnificent the last 3 weeks, and I feel bad anytime its more us than the opponent, and without taking away anything from North Carolina, it was us this evening."
The Tigers would continue their cold shooting from Tallahassee as they finished the game 5-of-22 from three point range.
Jamar McKnight scored a team high 21 points on 7-of-16 shooting. Ray Henderson led the Tigers in rebounding with 12.
Thomas Nagys had a strong showing, connecting on 7-of-9 free throws. He finished with 9 points.
Clemson would make only 38% of their shots for the game, while North Carolina shot an incredible 55%.
Edward Scott and Tony Stockman could manage only 15 points, six reboounds, nine assists and four turnovers in the loss.
The win was the first win of 2002 for the Tar Heels.