Clemson opens ACC tournament with 69-64 win over Miami


GREENSBORO, N.C. — Outscoring Miami 48-41 in the second half, the Clemson University men’s basketball team began ACC Tournament play with a 69-64 victory at Greensboro Coliseum on Wednesday. The contest between the eighth-seeded Tigers and the ninth-seeded Hurricanes kicked off the second round of the tournament.

Clemson (16-15) shot 46.8 percent from the floor and was phenomenal at the free throw line, as the Tigers made 18-of-19 foul shots, all of which came in the second half. The 94.7-percent mark at the charity stripe marked the best single-game percentage of the season for Clemson. Miami (15-16) finished with a shooting percentage of 38.7 and knocked down 11 3-pointers. The Tigers, who sank seven treys, corralled 32 rebounds, 24 points in the paint and 11 assists. In addition, Clemson benefited from 16 points off the bench.

Al-Amir Dawes led the Tigers with 18 points. The floor general went 4-of-7 from the field and was a perfect 8-of-8 at the free throw line. Aamir Simms registered his fifth double-double of the season with 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Simms has scored 800 points in his career. John Newman III chipped in 11 points, and Curran Scott and Hunter Tyson tabbed eight points apiece off the bench, with Tyson netting a pair of 3-balls.

Clemson fared well on defense in the first half, holding Miami scoreless for over five minutes of action at one point. The Tigers led by as many as seven points, but the Hurricanes went on an 11-0 run en route to taking a 4-point lead. Miami sported a 23-21 advantage at the intermission. In the second half, Newman sparked Clemson with a hard-fought 3-point play and a thunderous dunk out the fast break. A deep 3-pointer by Tyson with 1:35 remaining provided the Tigers with a 9-point edge. Clemson boasted an 11-point lead soon after that, and the Tiger were able to hold off the Hurricanes the rest of the way, winning 69-64 and advancing to the quarterfinals.

Clemson will next take on the No. 4 Florida State Seminoles (26-5), the No. 1 seed of the ACC Tournament. The Tigers split their two games against the Seminoles in the regular season. Set to tip off at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 12, the quarterfinal matchup at Greensboro Coliseum will air on ESPN.

Courtesy – Clemson Athletics

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