On Wednesday at Miami, the Tigers held the rebounding advantage 43-33 overall and by an incredible 23-8 margin on the offensive end. Even so, the Hurricanes won easily 62-38.
Then Saturday at Georgia Tech, the Tigers got killed on the boards as they were out-rebounded 49-27 overall and 19-10 offensively. Yet, Clemson walked out of Alexander Memorial Coliseum with a 73-63 win.
The 22 rebounds were the most a Clemson team has been out-rebounded since North Carolina did it by 29 in Chapel Hill in the 1993-94 season.
Moreover, Saturday's performance is the worst rebound margin on record in a Clemson victory. The previous record was a 21-rebound deficit in a victory over The Citadel on Nov. 25, 2000.
"Against Miami, we didn't respond well when they hit us with the first blow," said Tigers center Akin Akingbala. "Against Georgia Tech, it was the way we responded on the defensive end that helped us."
ROAD WARRIORS (NOT): This win was Clemson's largest margin of victory in an ACC road game since a 78-49 win at Florida State on Feb. 15, 1998. That 29-point margin still stands as a Tigers record for an ACC road win.
The win also comes at a time of the year when Clemson does not win a lot of games on the road. The Tigers had lost 35 consecutive ACC road games played between the dates of Jan. 14 and Feb. 14. Clemson had not won a road game between those dates since Jan. 15, 1997, when it won at Maryland.
Also, this was Clemson's third ACC road win under Oliver Purnell. Oddly enough, all three have taken place the game following a loss of at least 24 points. Last year, the Tigers won at Florida State after a 103-68 loss to Wake Forest at Littlejohn Coliseum. It also won at Maryland last year after an 88-56 loss at North Carolina.
POWELL SHINES: Talk about a shooting slump. Thankfully for Clemson, Tigers freshman forward Julius Powell broke out of his shooting slump in a major way Saturday.
Entering the game against the Yellow Jackets, Powell had made just eight of his last 41 shots from the field and just three of his last 27 from three-point range. He had scored just 22 points over his last eight games.
He started Saturday by missing his first four shots, three of which were three-pointers. But he bounced back by nailing his final six shots, four of which came from beyond the arc.
QUICK HITS: Freshman forward Raymond Sykes got the first start of his career. He played a total of seven minutes. … Clemson's 38 points in the first half equaled its total for the whole game at Miami. …
The Tigers held Georgia Tech to one field goal over a span of 12:40 in the second half. … Clemson denied the Yellow Jackets their 500th all-time win in Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Twenty-one years ago, on Feb. 17, 1985, Clemson denied Lefty Driesell his 500th career victory as a Division I coach.
Notebook: Rebounding Overrated?
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