Hot-shooting Tar Heels hand Tigers tough ACC loss

Devin Booker posted a game-high 25 points and his fifth double-double of the ACC regular season, but Clemson fell victim to a hot-shooting North Carolina team by a score of 68-59 on Thursday at Littlejohn Coliseum.

Milton Jennings added a double-double for the Tigers, who fell to 13-14 overall and 5-10 in ACC play. The Tar Heels improved to 20-8 on the season, 10-5 in the league.

Booker, who had just four points and two fouls at halftime, scored 21 of his 25 in the second half. It was the second-highest scoring total of his career, and most points by an individual Clemson player versus North Carolina since K.C. Rivers had 28 in the championship game of the 2008 ACC Tournament. The 6-foot-8 senior had 11 rebounds to boot, surpassing Randy Mahaffey for 13th in Clemson history for career rebounds.

Jennings posted 12 points, 10 rebounds and a season-high five assists in 35 minutes. He made 5-of-10 shots, including 2-of-6 from three. The Tigers won the rebound margin, 39-30, but shot just 39.7 percent compared to 47.3 for UNC. The Tigers also had 12 turnovers in the second half and 15 for the game. Clemson played without starting forward and second-leading scorer K.J. McDaniels, who sprained an ankle during Thursday’s shootaround.

The Tigers play their second of three games in a six-day span on Saturday. Clemson and Virginia Tech will meet at 8:00 PM in Blacksburg, VA.

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