Miami Takes Down No. 16 Clemson
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami men’s basketball team (11-2, 2-0 ACC) recorded its first ranked win of the season on Wednesday, downing the No. 16 Clemson Tigers (11-2, 1-1 ACC), 95-82, at the Watsco Center.
“That was a great college basketball game,” head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “It was very entertaining. Both teams played very hard and very well. We had three guys over 20 so, from an offensive standpoint, those three guys really played at a high level. But we had five guys in double-figures.”
A trio of Hurricanes eclipsed the 20-point mark in the game, paced by fourth-year junior Nijel Pack who totaled 25 on 8-of-13 shooting. Fourth-year junior Norchad Omier and junior Matthew Cleveland each recorded 23 points in the contest.
This was the fourth time during Larrañaga’s tenure that three Hurricanes have scored 20-plus points in the same game.
Freshman Kyshawn George and junior Bensley Joseph joined the trio in double-figures with 12 points apiece, marking the fourth time this season all five starters have scored in double-digits.
As a team, Miami shot 53 percent from the field and 45.8 percent from 3-point range. The Hurricanes’ 75 percent shooting effort in the second half was the first time a Miami team shot better than 70 percent in a half since 2017 (70 percent vs. Middle Tennessee).
The Hurricanes connected on four of their first five shots from beyond the arc to take a six-point, 20-14, lead midway through the first half. However, Clemson responded with a 14-3 run to take a five-point, 30-25, lead of its own.
George was the only player on either team to score in double-figures in the first 20 minutes, pouring in 12 first-half points, all of which came from downtown. Despite’s George’s 3-point heroics, the Tigers held a narrow 41-35 lead heading into halftime.
Pack caught fire in the second half, going 6-for-6 in the half, highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers to put Miami on top, 60-55, halfway through the frame. The Tigers cut the lead to four after scoring six straight points, but Cleveland shut down the run with a perfect shooting effort of his own, also knocking down 6-of-6 to extend Miami’s lead to 11 with 3:54 to play.
A 3-pointer by Clemson’s Chase Hunter cut the Hurricanes’ advantage to single-digits, 87-79, with just over a minute to play, but clutch free throws by Pack and Joseph solidified the 95-82 victory for Miami.
The Hurricanes hit the road for the first time in 2024 on Saturday when they travel to Winston-Salem, N.C., to take on Wake Forest. Tipoff is set for 2:15 p.m. and the game will air on The CW.