Playing in the 2019 MGM Resorts Main Event in Las Vegas Sunday night, Clemson could have cashed in its chips when trailing TCU by 15 points with 7:19 to play. But the Tigers held the Horned Frogs scoreless the rest of regulation while scoring the final 15 points to force overtime, and then rallied from four down in the extra session for a 62-60 win. The Tigers improve to 5-1 and will play 4-0 Colorado Tuesday night at 11:30 PM on ESPN2 for the tournament title.
The Tigers hit 10 three-pointers in staging their largest comeback since 2011. Tevin Mack led the way with 22 points. Aamir Simms had another double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Al-Amir Dawes hit a three pointer with 1:33 to play in overtime to give the Tigers the lead for good at 61-60. TCU had a chance to win the final seconds but failed to connect and Simms added a single free throw for the final margin.
BRAD BROWNELL POSTGAME QUOTES (Compiled by Clemson athletic communications)
“That was a remarkable win. I couldn’t be any prouder of our guys for battling the way that they did. I thought our defense was good all game. I was really proud of how our players defended. I told them throughout the game to just keep defending. This is one of those wins where you keep grinding and hanging in there and hope for something good to happen.”
On the keys to the win:
“Defensively, we didn’t make it easy on TCU. We made good adjustments at halftime. This was about our kids playing hard. The thing that I’m proud of as a coach is our guys never giving in on defense. We made it hard on TCU as best we could. This was such an incredible win. I’m so happy for our players. What a gritty, tough-minded win. This was the result of playing in Italy and playing in so many close games there.”
On the performances by Tevin Mack and Aamir Simms:
“Aamir [Simms] and Tevin [Mack] played at a high level. They kept us in the game long enough for other guys to join later. Finding ways for Aamir to dribble-drive and Tevin to get shots were the two things we had working for us late.”
On the impact of Al-Amir Dawes and Curran Scott:
“Al-Amir [Dawes] is such a competitive guy. His motor runs at a high rate. This game welcomed him to basketball at a high level. As for Curran [Scott], late in the game, he showed that he’s an experienced player, and he made a nice 3-point shot after Simms delivered a beautiful pass to him. Down the stretch, Curran’s experience was very helpful.”