The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday June 1st

Tar Heels Keep Streak Alive, Embarrass Clemson

The Tar Heels put four players in double figures, and three more scored at least eight points as they defeated Clemson 92-65 in front of 21,335 at the Smith Center.

They also limited the Tigers to

38.7-percent shooting and held Solomon, the ACC's leading scorer at 21.9 points per game, to 17.

"It was a solid effort all-around," said UNC guard Joseph Forte, who finished with 14 points, four rebounds and four assists. "We tried to not think about the streak and just go out there and play hard."

Ah, yes. The Streak. With the loss, Clemson dropped to 0-47 all-time on the road against the Tar Heels.

The Tigers left the floor to chants of "You can't win here!" from the riser section of UNC students.

"It's just baffling that they've never gotten a victory here," UNC center Brendan Haywood said. "It's unfortunate, but I don't want it to stop anytime soon."

The Streak was never really in danger Wednesday night. North Carolina took a 44-31 lead into halftime and opened the second half with a 20-4 run to turn the game into a laugher.

Aside from making their free throws -- UNC was just 14-for-28 from the foul line -- the Tar Heels did what they wanted. They got the ball inside to Haywood (11 points) and Kris Lang (13), who enjoyed huge height advantages on the interior.

They also connected from long range, hitting 12-of-27 3-point attempts against Clemson's zone. Forte led the charge, making three of his six attempts from behind the arc. Jason Capel, Ronald Curry, Max Owens and Brian Morrison all chipped in two 3-pointers apiece.

The sharp shooting blew holes in Clemson's plan to collapse on the Tar Heels (14-2, 4-0 in the ACC) to keep them from dominating inside.

"I thought the plan was marvelous," Clemson coach Larry Shyatt said. "But if more than one starts dropping jump shots, the plan has some flaws."

The Tigers (10-7, 1-3) simply could not keep up with the barrage. UNC wouldn't let them.

In recent years, the Tar Heels would keep overmatched teams in games by allowing them to work the ball around on offense and get good shots. That is no longer the case.

Led by point guard Ronald Curry, UNC pressured Clemson all night. Hands were in passing lanes when Clemson tried to rotate the ball and in faces when the Tigers tried to shoot.

The Tigers finished with 20 turnovers and managed just 10 assists.

Solomon kept Clemson in the game early with 15 points in the contest's opening 12 minutes. But he stopped scoring, and the game was over in a hurry.

"I think they feed off Solomon, and he started off real fast," Forte said. "But once he slowed down, I think the team slowed down."

UNC limited Clemson to 1-for-9 shooting to open the second half. Three of those misses came courtesy of blocked shots by Haywood, who finished the game with six rejections.

The Clemson bench received a technical foul at the 16:14 mark after arguing that Haywood was taunting after his blocks. At that point, the lead was 21. It grew as large as 39.

Everyone on the UNC roster got into the game, and 13 of the 15 players scored.

"It was cool. We built the lead, and it's fun to see the other guys get in," Capel said. "It's fun to see them get in and hit 3s and get dunks and enjoy themselves and let us be the cheerleaders for a while.

"That's what being on a college basketball team is all about -- everybody getting a chance to shine."

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