Tigers Romp in Exhibition Opener

The Clemson men's basketball team opened its exhibition season Wednesday night with an 81-54 victory over the Southeast Atlanta All Stars in Anderson, SC. Five Tigers scored in double figures, led by senior point guard Ed Scott.

Sophomore forward Sharrod Ford had 14 points and 12 rebounds and senior forward Ray Henderson had 10 points and 11 rebounds as the Tigers dominated on the inside. The production was necessary as Clemson struggled from the perimeter, hitting only 1-of-14 three-point attempts.

"I wasn't very surprised," said head coach Larry Shyatt. "We have invested more time and energy in defense so far. I was impressed we only had 15 turnovers in an up-tempo game."

Sophomore guard Chey Christie scored 14 while junior Chris Hobbs chipped in 11 for Clemson, which played in the Anderson Civic Center for the first time.

"It's a good feeling to finally get in here and get a workout," said Scott of the Civic Center, which had an NBA three-point line as well as teal colored sidelines and three-second lanes. "We played well on defense and only gave up 22 points in the first half."

The Tigers jumped out to a 14-3 lead in the first six minutes behind Scott, who had 10 of his 15 points in the opening half. The All Stars then went on a 17-6 run to close to within 23-22 at the 3:52 mark. Clemson pulled away at the end of the half with a 9-0 run highlighted by consecutive tip-ins by Ray Henderson.

Dazzling plays by Scott and Chey Christie got the Tigers off to a quick second half start. Christie provided the game's first dunk and was followed by an acrobatic reverse layup by Scott that pushed the lead to 16. The lead grew to 26 minutes later after Sharrod Ford converted on a post move, stole the ensuing inbounds pass and laid the ball in. The Tigers paced the Tigers with 12 second half points as the lead grew to as many as 32 points.

But Shyatt was encouraged most by the Clemson defense and rebounding. The Tigers held Southeast Atlanta to 27 percent shooting while out-rebounding the All Stars 57-36.

"It's been a long time since a Clemson frontline has taken six charges," said Shyatt.

Clemson will play EA Sports Sunday at 7:00 PM in its final preseason tune-up before the season opener Nov. 24 against Wofford at 4:00 PM. Due to the renovation of Littlejohn Coliseum, all Clemson men's and women's basketball games prior to Jan. 1, 2003 will be played in the Anderson Civic Center.

"It's a nice facility, nice atmosphere," said Scott. "We're looking forward to getting it packed with fans."

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