Story by Justin Mathis
Something has changed around the Clemson men’s basketball program following a home loss to Miami (FL) on New Year’s Eve. Whatever it is, it’s working.
After picking up their first ever win at Chapel Hill, Saturday, Clemson battled Duke in a Tuesday night ACC tilt, withstanding several late charges for a 79-72 win, prompting a court storming from the Tigers’ student section. Clemson closed out the game by knocking down seven of their last eight shots from the field.
For the Tigers, this win marked a few things. To start, it’s their first win over a top-three ranked team since February 18th, 2001, when Clemson defeated top-ranked UNC. Next, this gives Clemson consecutive wins over North Carolina and Duke for the second time in program history (last occurred in 1989-90 season).
Also, Clemson has now knocked off North Carolina State, North Carolina, and Duke in consecutive games for the first time since the 1966-67 season, when Bobby Roberts was at the helm for the Tigers. The win over the Blue Devils makes Brad Brownell the winningest coach in program history with 178 wins, passing Cliff Ellis.
Aamir Simms paced Clemson with a game-high 25 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Tevin Mack (22) and John Newman III (14) joined Simms in double figures. Vernon Carey led Duke with 20 points. Tre Jones and Cassius Stanley also finished in double figures with 17 and 14 points, respectively.