Thursday , Dec , 28 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Tigers continue flawless run against Bulldogs

Clemson, SC (Sports Network) – Off to their second best start in school
history, the 25th-ranked Clemson Tigers try to keep their perfect record
intact tonight, as they host the Georgia Bulldogs in non-conference play from
Littlejohn Coliseum.

At 12-0, the Tigers are off to their second best start, trailing only the
1986-87 club that began 17-0. Most recently, Clemson pounded Western
Carolina, 103-60, on Saturday to improve to 7-0 at home. The 103 points scored
is a season-high for the Tigers and it also marked their highest output
since beating Wake Forest 118-115 in double overtime in February 2002.

As for Georgia, it enters the game on a low note, dropping a 78-69
decision at arch-rival Georgia Tech on Friday. The loss snapped the team’s
four-game winning streak, as it slipped to 8-2 overall and 1-1 on the road.

The Bulldogs however, own a commanding 55-23 advantage in the all-time series
with Clemson, including a 72-69 triumph last season.

The Bulldogs are one of the top scoring teams around at the moment, as they
are averaging a healthy 89.5 ppg behind 52.8 percent shooting from the field
and an equally as good 44.0 percent from long range. Mike Mercer has done a
little bit of everything for Georgia thus far, as he leads the team in scoring
(17.2 ppg) to go along with 4.7 rpg, 4.6 apg and 24 steals. Levi Stukes adds
14.8 ppg and he is converting 91.7 percent of his free-throw attempts, while
Takais Brown contributes 14.3 ppg off the bench. In the team’s last game, the
Bulldogs put forth one of their worst shooting performances of the season,
hitting on just 38.2 percent from the floor in a loss to Georgia Tech. The
team also struggled a bit from long range (7-of-21), in addition to committing
18 turnovers. Stukes paced the team in defeat with 21 points on 5-of-13
shooting from the floor.

The Tigers have excelled at both ends of the court this season, as they are
averaging a hardy 79.3 ppg off 48.8 percent shooting from the field, while
holding their opponents to just 59.1 ppg and a dismal 39.0 percent shooting
overall. Despite not having started a game this season, K.C. Rivers leads the
team in scoring with 14.8 ppg. James Mays has been a force in the low post and
he is turning in 12.9 ppg to go along with team-highs of 7.8 rpg and 27
steals. Vernon Hamilton rounds out the double-figure scorers with 11.5 ppg and
a team-best 4.3 apg. In the squad’s previous outing, Rivers poured in 24
points and ripped down eight caroms in leading Clemson to any easy win over
Western Carolina. Mays notched a double-double with 14 points and 11 boards
for the Tigers, who shot 56.5 percent from the field, including a 15-of-27
effort from long distance.