Clemson University

Clemson basketball rolling along

CLEMSON - The Clemson men's basketball team will shoot for its sixth consecutive victory tonight against South Carolina State - its final tune-up before opening the ACC season at Duke on Sunday.

That means standout senior forward Trevor Booker couldn't have picked a better time to hit his stride.

"He's either been a bear on the glass or scoring or assisting, or a combination of both," Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said. "He's a man out there and makes a big difference."

Booker scored 31 points to come within a point of his career high in Clemson's last game, a 79-57 win against Western Carolina on Dec. 22. In the two games prior, Booker had a total of 16 assists.

Booker isn't the only one playing well of late. The Tigers have shot better than 60 percent from the field in each of their past two games, the first time that has been accomplished since the 1986-87 season.

On Monday, Booker and the Tigers (11-2) climbed to their highest rankings of the season - No. 18 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll and No. 21 in The Associated Press poll. Clemson has been ranked in at least one of the two polls for eight consecutive weeks.

Tonight's game is the 10th meeting between Clemson and S.C. State, with Clemson holding an 8-1 advantage. The Bulldogs' victory came during the 1999-2000 season.

S.C. State enters the game with a 6-3 record after falling at Iowa in its last game, 82-69, on Dec. 21. The Bulldogs played at Miami, losing 91-54.

Tonight's game has been designated Rec League Day. Children 12 and younger will receive free admission if they were wear their rec league jersey. Tickets may be redeemed at the East Gate Box Office of Littlejohn Coliseum, which opens at 6:30 p.m.