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Clemson Edges Miami in Another Close Game, 63-59

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Box Score | UM Postgame Press Conference | Clemson Postgame Press Conference

CORAL GABLES, FLA. (AP) – Andre Young scored 18 points, Demontez Stitt added 17 and Clemson snapped a two-game slide by holding off Miami 63-59 on Sunday.

Jerai Grant scored 12 for the Tigers (18-9, 7-6 Atlantic Coast Conference), who have won the last five meetings with Miami.

Down by three in the final moments, the Hurricanes (16-11, 4-8) never had the chance for a potentially tying shot.

Clemson elected to foul Adrian Thomas with a three-point lead with 3.4 seconds left. Thomas made one, Stitt got the rebound and was fouled with 1.7 seconds remaining, hit two free throws and Clemson escaped.

Durand Scott scored 16 for Miami and Thomas added 13. It was Miami’s ninth ACC game to be decided in the final seconds – the Hurricanes dropped to 4-5 in those contests.

Miami had its chances, especially after seeming to be in command late in the second half.

 

  1st 2nd F
Clemson 28 35 63
Miami 27 32 59
Team Stat Comparison
  UM CU
Points 59 63
FG Made-Attempted 19-39 20-47
FG Percentage 48.7 42.6
3P Made-Attempted 6-16 5-11
3P Percentage 37.5 45.5
FT Made-Attempted 15-23 18-21
FT Percentage 65.2 85.7
Rebounds 28 24
Assists 12 12
Turnovers 16 10
Miami Stat Leaders Clemson
D. Scott 16 Points 18 A. Young
R. Johnson 9 Rebounds 5 Stitt/Young
M. Grant 5 Assists 8 T. Smith
D. Scott 3 Steals 2 Stitt/Smith
R. Johnson 3 Blocks 1 3 Players

Malcolm Grant – the Hurricanes’ leading scorer at 15.3 points per game coming into Sunday – had been scoreless until hitting a 3-pointer with 5:49 left to put Miami up 50-48. And 59 seconds later, he showed a flair for the dramatic.

He made a 3-pointer from the right corner while getting fouled by Stitt, added the free throw and the Hurricanes were up 54-50.

They went scoreless for the next 3:05, and Clemson came right back.

Young’s 3-pointer put Clemson back ahead 55-54 with 2:09 left – but the lead was a brief one, as was the case for both teams all day. Miami reclaimed the lead on Scott’s layup on the ensuing Hurricanes’ possession, only to have Young make a pair of free throws with 34 seconds left to put Clemson ahead by one again.

Miami had two chances to either tie or take the lead in the final half-minute, coming up short on both. Scott made one of two free throws with 12.5 seconds left, getting the Hurricanes within one, 59-58.

Young made a pair of free throws 1.6 seconds later. Miamiwent to Scott to advance the ball, then called its final timeout with 5 seconds remaining. Whatever they drew up was thwarted quickly when Clemson chose to foul, and now the Hurricanes have to win out just to reach .500 in ACC play.

Clemson led 28-27 at the half, after looking like it was on the cusp of taking control just moments earlier.

Miami managed only one field goal over a 4 1/2-minute stretch late in the half, and the Tigers opened a 28-21 lead with a 10-2 spurt. Rion Brown ended the Miami drought with a 12-footer from the right baseline, and the Hurricanes wound up scoring the final six points before intermission.

Clemson had its own early offensive issues as well. Miamihad three defensive possessions where it forced Clemson into either a shot-clock violation or rushing a jumper just before the 35-second clock would expire in the first 9 minutes alone. And the teams went a combined 2 1/2 minutes midway through the half with no scoring, things stuck with Miamiup 11-8.

Much like when Clemson had its biggest lead and squandered it quickly, Miamidid the same midway through the second half.

A pair of free throws by Reggie Johnson with 9:16 left put the Hurricanes up 44-39, their largest cushion to that point. It was gone in less than 90 seconds; Stitt made two free throws with 7:34 left for a 46-45 Tigers lead – the start of a back-and-forth all the way to the end.

Tonight’s Starters
Starting for Miami today was Durand Scott, Malcolm Grant, Garrius Adams, DeQuan Jones and Reggie Johnson. This is the second-straight game Coach Haith has used this lineup. Scott, Grant and Johnson have started all 27 games for UM this season.

Today’s Opponent
The Tigers took the first matchup at Littlejohn Coliseum on Jan. 8 79-72. Durand Scott led the ‘Canes with 24 points, including a career-high tying 12-of-13 from the free throw line.Clemson is one of four teams on the Hurricanes schedule twice this season. The other three are Duke, Florida State and Boston College. Miami will also face BC and FSU this week on the road.

Here we go again
The Hurricanes’ game came right down to the wire once again. Nine of the last 10 ACC contests have been decided by four points or less. This game featured 14 lead changes and 10 ties throughout.

Moving on Up
With his entrance to the game 2:53 into the first half, Adrian Thomas broke a tie with James Jones (who won the NBA three-point contest last night) to move into sole possession of seventh all-time in games played in UM history with 123. Thomas’ former teammates James Dews and Brian Asbury hold the record with 130 games played apiece.

One and Done
Each team cleared the defensive boards strongly in the first half, as there were only three offensive rebounds combined in the first 20 minutes. For the entire game, the ‘Canes outrebounded Clemson 28-24 overall.

Bench Support
The Hurricanes received strong production in relief, outscoring Clemson 23-4 in points off the bench — including 13 points from Adrian Thomas, who has scored in double figures four times over the last five games to average a team-best 13.4 points over that span with 20 three-pointers at a 44.4 percent clip.

From Downtown
With Adrian Thomas’ three-pointer 3:56 seconds into the first half, the Hurricanes have now made a three-pointer in 293 straight games and in 737 of 740 since the NCAA adopted the three-point shot in 1986.

Thomas, fifth all-time at UM in career hrees made, went on to convert four triples on the day. He has hit a trey in 21 of the last 22 games and in 71 of his last 79 games, knocking down three-plus three-pointers 13 times this season and 30 times over his six-year career.

U Family
During a timeout in the second half, the Hurricanes faithful welcomed new head football coach Al Golden and his staff at midcourt with a loud standing ovation.