College basketball: Tigers top Hurricanes, 91-72
Published 12:00 am Monday, December 22, 2008
CORAL GABLES, Fla. ó K.C. Rivers scored 28 points and No. 25 Clemson easily overcame an early 12-point deficit on the way to beating Miami 91-72 in the ACC opener for both teams Sunday.
Terrence Oglesby added 17 points for the Tigers (12-0, 1-0). They kept pace with Pittsburgh for Division I’s best record this season.
Jack McClinton scored 20 points for Miami (7-3, 0-1). It doomed itself with a season-high 22 turnovers ó 12 in the final 11 minutes of the first half, a stretch in which the Hurricanes were outscored 29-9 ó and by missing 12 of its first 17 free throws.
Clemson used a 16-0 run over a 21/2-minute stretch of the first half to take the lead for good. After Miami clawed within 52-47, the Tigers ó on a 3-pointer by Oglesby, then 3s on consecutive possessions by Rivers ó scored nine straight points.
“I thought our guys came in with the proper mind-set that you have to have when you’re going on the road, in league, against a good team,” Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said. “You’ve got to be prepared to take their initial blow in the beginning of the game. I thought our guys settled down and showed great poise.”
The 19-point loss was the Hurricanes’ largest since falling by 41 at North Carolina on Jan. 31, 2007.
“That was a butt-whuppin’,” Miami coach Frank Haith said. “Those guys gave it to us. They were tougher than we were. Mentally we weren’t tough.”
Virginia Tech 81, St. John’s 67
NEW YORK ó A.D. Vassallo scored 24 points and Malcolm Delaney added 22 as Virginia Tech won the Aeropostale Holiday Festival for the second straight year. The Hokies (8-4) beat the Red Storm in the final at Madison Square Garden just as they did in 2007.
Jeff Allen and J.T. Thompson both had 10 rebounds for Virginia Tech.