Clemson vs. Western Carolina Series
This will be the first meeting on the basketball court between Clemson and Western Carolina since the 2000-01 season. The Tigers won the last meeting by an 87-52 score, the largest margin of victory for the Tigers in Larry Shyatt's first three seasons as head coach.
Jamar McKnight, playing in his first game as a Tiger, led Clemson in scoring with 12 points in a balanced performance by the Tigers. Clemson had 24 assists and just 11 turnovers in gaining the victory.
Clemson held Western Carolina to just 25 percent shooting in the second half. Clemson's bench scored 47 points as 13 different players scored for the Tigers. Clemson has an 8-0 lead in the series and the Tigers have won each game by at least 10 points. The closest contest took place in the only meeting between the two clubs at Western Carolina. That was an 81-71 Clemson win in Cullowhee in 1991-92.
Clemson won the first meeting between the two teams in 1978-79, a 71-56 Tiger victory. Clemson has gone over 100 points in the series twice, a 103-82 win in 1990-91 and a 102-67 win in 1997-98. The 1997-98 victory was the only game in the four years Rick Barnes coached at Clemson.
* A victory against Western Carolina on Saturday will give the Tigers
a 12-0 record. That would be the second best start in Clemson
history, trailing only the 17-0 start by the 1986-87 Clemson team led
by Horace Grant. It would also tie for the second longest winning
streak in Clemson history at any time in a season. The 1996-97
Clemson team won 12 straight between early December and mid-January
* James Mays established a career best in scoring and in the win over
Georgia Southern on December 19. The junior scored 22 points on 9-11
field goal shooting and added seven rebounds, three assists, and
three steals. Clemson has won 22 consecutive games with Mays in the
lineup, an 11-0 record last year and an 11-0 record so far this year.
* In the 12-point win over Georgia Southern, Clemson had 17 steals
and just 13 fouls. It was first time the Clemson team has had more
steals that fouls since the fourth game of last year when the Tigers
accomplished the feat against Charleston Southern.
* K.C. Rivers has scored in double figures in every game this year
even though he has not started. His 11-game streak of consecutive
double figure scoring games as a reserve is a Clemson record. Rivers
has three of the top six scoring games as a reserve in the ACC this
* Clemson has won eight consecutive games against Western Carolina
and the Tigers have won every game by at least 10 points.
* Clemson ranked 14th in the nation in scoring margin and 20th in
rebound margin entering games of Monday, December 18. Clemson has a
+8.8 rebound margin, which is on pace to break the existing school
record. Clemson has out-rebounded the opposition in all but one game
so far this year.
* Clemson's game with the University of Georgia on December 28 has
been moved to a 7:00 PM start and will be televised by Fox Sports Net
* Clemson is ranked 22nd in the USA Today poll this week, Clemson's
highest ranking in either of the two polls since a number-20 ranking
in USA Today on January 4, 1999.
* The Tigers rank sixth in the RPI and seventh in the Sagarin
computer ratings after games played on Thursday, December 21.
Clemson is one of five schools ranked in the top 10 by both.
* This will be just the fourth time in history Clemson has played a
game on December 23. Clemson is just 1-2 in games on that date over
* When Clemson faces Georgia on December 28, Clemson point guard
Vernon Hamilton will celebrate his 22nd birthday. Last year the
Bulldogs handed the Tigers a 72-69 loss on his birthday.
Clemson - Western Carolina Game Notes
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