Originally created 12/24/06

Rivers in flow as Tigers roll to win



CLEMSON, S.C. - K.C. Rivers scored a game-high 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead Clemson to a 103-60 win over Western Carolina on Saturday.

The Tigers (12-0) ended the first half on a 16-4 run to lead by 15 points at the break, then opened the second half on a 32-8 run.

During the second-half run, Rivers hit four of his six 3-pointers and Clemson scored 18 consecutive points.

The 103 points was the most by the Tigers since beating Wake Forest 118-115 in double overtime in February 2002.

Clemson made 15 of its 27 3-pointers and shot 56.5 percent from the field, while holding the Catamounts to just 30.6 percent shooting. The Tigers had 50 rebounds to Western Carolina's 27.

Four other Tigers reached double figures with Cliff Ham-monds scoring 17 points, James Mays adding 14 points along with 11 rebounds and seven assists, Vernon Hamilton scoring 12, and Matt Morris adding 11 points.

Negus McKenna had 16 points and six rebounds for the Catamounts (5-6).

Western Carolina had three starters suspended for violating team rules. Coach Larry Hunter said Nick Aldridge, Arnold Gore and Brandon Giles will be back for the Catamounts game Thursday at St. Mary's.

Without the two forwards and a guard, Western Carolina was no match for Clemson.

"We kind of had all cylinders clicking," Tigers coach Oliver Purnell said. "Good teams turn it up coming out of the half, and thankfully our guys responded."

Rivers made five of his six 3-pointers in the second half. The sophomore said he wasn't the least bit surprised by his hot shooting in the second half. In fact, the only thing that stunned him was he was constantly being left unguarded.

"If you're not going to come out and guard me, I'm going to shoot," Rivers said. "I was surprised I was open that much."

The Tigers are the only remaining undefeated team in the Atlantic Coast Conference and host Georgia and Georgia State before opening ACC play at Florida State on Jan. 3.