Purnell Postgame Comments/Audio
Demontez Stitt scored 18 points and Trevor Booker had 16 to lead Clemson to a 76-74 win over Illinois on Tuesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Raymond Sykes and K.C. Rivers added 14 points apiece for Clemson (8-0), which overcame a 40-32 halftime deficit to earn their fifth straight win in the challenge.
"Anytime you win on the road, in a Big Ten school on national television in a game that pushes you to 8-0 that's a big win and we had to come behind to do it," Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell said afterwards.
Clemson turned the tables on defensive-minded Illinois (6-1) by creating havoc in the backcourt with a full court press, forcing 17 turnovers.
After shooting 56 percent in the first half Illinois went cold down the stretch, going 2-for-8 from the field in the final five minutes. Illinois wasn't able to get a shot off in the final seconds after Stitt missed the front end of a 1-on-1 that could hav iced the game.
"It was a cumulative affect," Purnell said. "It's a 40-minute game. Sometimes it doesn't show up until 30-35 minutes into the game. It did show up earlier but they started to kind of throw it to us."
Mike Davis led Illinois with a career-high 28 points, including the first 12 for the Illini after the break. Demetri McCamey added 20 points.
With the win, the Tigers now have a 8-2 record in the ACC/Big Ten challenge.
Clemson returns to the hardwood Sunday at Littlejohn Coliseum to face Liberty at 3 PM.
Tigers Remain Undefeated
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