CLEMSON – The Clemson Tigers were a tired team heading into Tuesday’s clash with Georgia Tech, and Tiger boss Brad Brownell knew he needed several players to step up and help carry the load.
One of them was sophomore forward Bernard Sullivan, who logged only nine minutes but scored seven points and had three rebounds.
“Bernard was great tonight,” Brownell said. “I’m really happy for him. Sometimes the game seems a little fast for him but if he doesn’t play well tonight, we don’t win the game. He played well.”
Sullivan said he simply tried to play his role.
“Coach wants me to be patient,” Sullivan said. “And I just wanted to do what I could to help the team. He told us to be ready for a physical game and it was.”
By the end of the night every player on the team had seen time on the court with four logging at least 33 minutes.
“I told our guys we’d need our post players to give us some minutes and we thought foul trouble and fatigue might be an issue,” Brownell said. “Some games are physical, and our guys were tired. Just to find a way to win was really impressive.”
SOLID NIGHT FOR HARRISON
Sophomore guard Damarcus Harrison continues to improve, getting eight points and registering four steals against the Yellow Jackets on Tuesday.
“We had to buckle down as a team and play the kind of defense we knew we could to get some stops at the end,” Harrison said. “We know we’re going to get everybody’s best game.”
Harrison took just six shots on the night but made three.
“I’m just shooting and not thinking about it anymore,” he said.
Clemson and Georgia Tech played basketball for the 121st time on Tuesday and the Tigers now lead the series by a razor-thin margin of 62-59. But since Brad Brownell has taken over the Littlejohn Coliseum tenants, his program is 5-0 against the Yellow Jackets. Including the Tigers’ last clash with Tech during the Oliver Purnell era, the winning streak for the Tigers is now up to six games in this ACC series.
Making matters worse for the Tech the fact that the series with Clemson is its longest against any ACC foe. The Jackets have played 32 more games against the Tigers than they have any other league opponent.
ON THE BOARD AGAIN
On Sunday Devin Booker struggled with flu-like symptoms but still managed to rip down 10 boards to help his team take a 77-70 victory over Virginia Tech. However, the senior center was held without a field goal, the first time that has happened in 58 games.
On Tuesday he made sure his scoring drought wouldn’t extend beyond two games, nailing a jumper 4:44 into the game. He finished with eight points.
BACK IN HIS OLD DIGS
Georgia Tech assistant coach Josh Postorino is no stranger to Littlejohn, having worked at Clemson under Purnell from 2007-10. During his first year with the Tigers he served as director of basketball operations, and then became an assistant coach in 2008.
Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory on his team’s resiliency:
“They’re as resilient a bunch as I’ve seen. Being resilient means you screwed up a little to start off. I’d rather be really good all the way through than resilient. It’s not a bad trait when you’re rebuilding.”