Sunday, January 24, 2010

DUKE, GAME DAY, ESSO, ALL-DAY PARTY WEARS DOWN TIGERS

It would have been a lot to ask for Clemson and Tiger Nation to withstand a full-day of fun including a visit by ESPN’s game day and to be at their best for a 9 p.m. game against a Duke team jonesing for revenge after a 40+ point beatdown on the same court last season.

That loss was the low point of the Blue Devils season last year, and this 60-47 win is one of their highpoints so far this year. Nolan Smith scored 22 points and No. 7 Duke wiped out the ugly memory from last season with a fairly easy victory over No. 17 Clemson on Saturday night.

Smith (pictured) had 9 points during a 14-2 second half run that put Duke ahead 43-30 with 12:33 left. Clemson could not get closer than 6 points the rest of the way.

Trevor Booker led the Tigers (15-5, 3-3) with 22 points.

The Devils’ defense was tenacious as they held Clemson to their fewest points at home since a 52-47 loss to Maryland on Jan. 25, 2003. Booker got little help from his teammates - while Clemson's star made 10 of 14 shots, the rest of the Tigers were just 8 of 34.

At some point in the game, Dick Vitale referred to Clemson’s Littlejohn Coliseum as “The John.” He corrected himself, but the slip of the tongue was telling…

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