Clemson Downs Augusta State

Junior guard K.C. Rivers and freshman guard Terrence Oglesby scored 15 points apiece, while forward James Mays recorded a double-double leading Clemson to a 79-66 exhibition basketball victory over Augusta State on Tuesday night.

It was the only public exhibition for the Tigers, who open the 2007-08 regular season on November 12 at home against Furman.

Augusta State made 10-19 three-point goals in the contest, as the Division II team that is ranked sixth in the nation in preseason rankings and is coming off a 24-win season, stayed within 8 to 12 points of the Tigers most of the evening. Augusta State defeated College of Charleston in its other exhibition game last week.

Rivers made 6-11 shots from the field and had three assists and five steals. The junior from Charlotte who was Clemson's top scorer last year also had six rebounds in his 28 minutes. Oglesby played just 17 minutes, but put up 16 shots and made five, all of them three-point goals.

Mays added 14 points on 5-9 shooting, including four dunks, and added 10 rebounds, including five offensive. Freshman point guard Demontez Stitt had 14 points and three rebounds, including 12 points in the first half.

Augusta State was led in scoring by Demetrius Howard, who had 19 points, 14 in the first half. He made 4-6 three-point shots and was 7-8 from the foul line. Daniel Dixon, his running mate in the backcourt, added 15 points, while Ben Madigen scored 13. Clemson held 6-11 center Garret Siler to just four points in 19 minutes before he fouled out. Siler scored 24 points on 10-11 shooting in the Jaguars two-point win at The College of Charleston on November 2.

Clemson's pressing defense forced Augusta State into 27 turnovers, including 23 in the first half when Clemson took a 45-34 lead. Clemson had 13 steals in the first half by seven different players, as Head Coach Oliver Purnell used 12 players before intermission. The Tigers shot just 40 percent for the game, while Augusta State made 43.5 percent, including 52.6 on three-point shots. But the Tigers had a 42-35 advantage in rebounding and a 33-21 lead in points off turnovers for the night.

The first half was a game of runs. Clemson jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first 1:31 as K.C. Rivers made a three-point goal and James Mays had a slam dunk to key the run. But, Augusta State came back strong with a 17-1 run, hitting 5-6 shots from the field, including 4-5 three-point shots. Dixon and Howard both made back-to-back three-point goals during the run.

With Augusta State holding a 17-9 lead, Clemson then went on a 14-0 run thanks to its suffocating defense. Stitt hit six points in a row to bring the count to 17-15. Trevor Booker and Mays later n scored four points apiece to bring Clemson to a 23-17 lead at the 11:06 mark, a lead Clemson would never relinquish.

Clemson went on a 10-3 run to end the half. Oglesby hit a three-point shot at the 1:17 mark to give Clemson a 45-32 lead. Clemson led 45-34 at intermission.

The Tigers led by just 53-46 with 14 minutes left when Oglesby hit three consecutive three-point goals. He scored nine points in just 1:52 to give the Tigers a 62-48 lead with 11:09 left. Augusta State cut the lead to nine just one more time inside the last 10 minutes, but Clemson's Matt Morris made a three-point goal to put the Tigers back upby 12 at 65-53 with 8:05 left. Clemson's largest lead of the game was 16 points at 77-61 with 2:24 left.

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