College basketball: Clemson clubs Ospreys
CLEMSON, S.C. ó Clemson is far from perfect. The 25th-ranked Tigers just seem to start every season that way under coach Oliver Purnell.
Trevor Booker had 16 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots and Clemson beat North Florida 76-36 on Tuesday night to move to 11-0 for the third time in the past four seasons.
The Tigers improved to 43-0 since the 2005-06 season in games played before Dec. 22.
Such play sometimes leaves Purnell scratching his head about what to harp on at the next practice.
Offense? Clemson shot nearly 52 percent in the second half. Defense? The Tigers forced 22 turnovers and had 11 blocks. This was the fewest points against Clemson since a 77-28 victory over Wofford on Feb. 6, 1996.
“I would like to see us play better,” Purnell said. “I guess that’s always the case.”
He could always point to the Tigers’ sluggish start when they often gave up uncontested shots to North Florida players surprised they were so wide open.
Germaine Sparkes’ basket put the Ospreys up 13-12 about eight minutes in, and the game was tied 17-all after DeVon Jones scored on an easy basket.
“We didn’t come out the way we wanted,” Clemson guard Terrence Oglesby said.
Then Clemson took control, outscoring the Ospreys 20-5 the rest of the half.
Demontez Stitt, a 6-foot-2 guard, got the fans out of their seats early in the second half by dunking over 6-6 Stan Januska.
Florida State 69, Tennessee Tech
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. ó Toney Douglas scored 28 points and Ryan Reid’s three-point play broke open a tie game.
Reid’s three-point play with 3:59 left broke a 55-55 deadlock as the Seminoles closed the game with a 14-5 run to improve to 10-1, equaling the best start in school history.
No. 5 Texas 88, Texas Southern 72
AUSTIN, Texas ó A.J. Abrams scored 27 points. Abrams had 16 points in the second half and Pittman added 15 of his 19. Texas (9-1) led 35-34 at halftime against the Tigers (0-9).
No. 16 Tenn. 80, No. 24 Marquette 68
NASHVILLE, Tenn. ó Wayne Chism scored 21 of his 26 points in the second half, and Tennessee beat Marquette in the second game of the Southeastern Conference/Big East Invitational.
Tyler Smith had 14 points and Bobby Maze added 10 for the Volunteers (7-2).
LAWRENCE, Kan. ó Kansas guard Mario Little, a junior college transfer, will miss two to four weeks after breaking his left hand at practice Tuesday.