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The Clemson defense held EA Sports scoreless for a 10:08 stretch and Chey Christie scored 24 points en route to a 79-62 victory Sunday night in preseason men's basketball action at the Civic Center of Anderson.

The game was the final tune-up for Clemson, which opens its 2002-2003 season Sunday, Nov. 24, against Wofford at 4:00 PM.

"We must continue to focus on defense because we have to stops when we go through scoring droughts," said head coach Larry Shyatt.

The defense kicked into gear at the end of the first half The teams traded baskets for most of the half until the Tigers took a 32-27 lead after an NBA-range three-pointer by Ed Scott. EA sports would not go away, however, and cut the lead to 32-31. Clemson pulled away in the final 3:30 with eight straight points and went to the locker room at halftime with a 40-31 lead.

The Tigers continued their run in the second half, holding EA Sports scoreless for the first 7:38 of the second half. Clemson led 49-31 before Isaac Harmon hit a turnaround jumper with 13:23 left to get the All Stars on the board in the second session.

The offensive effort was led by Christie, who made 11 of his 15 shot attempts, including 2-4 from three-point range.

"He picked us up tonight," said Shyatt. "He will always get a couple of dunks when we get out and run, but I was equally impressed with his defense tonight. He took a couple of charges and did a good job on their guards. He's a guy that's come a long way, not just on offense, but on defense as well."

He provided the play of the preseason with just under seven minutes to go in the contest. The sophomore blocked a three-point attempt to trigger a three-on-one break. Julian Betko then dished it back to 6-4 guard, who dunked on the All Stars' Billy Knight to get the fans off their feet.

"I've always been able to jump," said Christie, whose older brother Tony also played at Clemson. "My brother always told me if you're able to dunk it, dunk it. That's what I did."

Point guard had Ed Scott had 11 assists to go along with eight points and Tomas Nagys led the frontline with nine rebounds in his first action of the preseason.

Clemson did receive a scare with 10:20 to go in the game. Junior forwards Chris Hobbs dove into the EA Sports bench to save a loose ball and was down for a few minutes. He was taken to the locker room where it was determined he had a strained back.

Shyatt said he expects to have Hobbs for the team's next practice on Wednesday. The team will have the next two days before beginning preparation for Wofford. Fans can join in a question and answer session with both the men's and the women's teams Monday night at Tillman Auditorium.

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