Aamir Simms hit a lane-splitting jumper in the paint with 0:19 left on the clock, a last-gasp attempt by Miami failed, and the Tigers left Coral Gables Saturday afternoon with a hard fought 66-65 win over the Hurricanes. The Tigers won their third straight game and second straight in the ACC. They are now 8-1 overall and 2-1 in league play with NC State coming to Littlejohn Coliseum Tuesday night for a 7:00 PM tip.
The Tigers got off to a great start and built a 12 point first half lead, but that vanished over the final 11 minutes of the half and Miami led at the break 34-32. It was nip and tuck the entire second half with six points being the largest lead either way.
Clemson trailed by 4 with 1:36 to play when Nick Honor hit his only three of the game to pull the Tigers to within 65-64. The shot was only made possible by Al-Amir Dawes chasing down his own missed three-pointer and finding Honor on the wing.
Miami turned the ball over on it’s next possession and that led to the dramatic drive and bank shot in the lane by Simms who matched his career high with 25 points. The Hurricanes had the ball and a chance at victory with :04 left, but Honor came up with a steal. The ball ended up in the hands of Jonathan Baehre but he lost it out of bounds under the Clemson basket with three-tenths of a second to play. The Hurricanes attempted a full-court tip-shot, but it became a catch and shoot and would not have counted. The attempt just rolled off the rim.
The Tigers played without injured Hunter Tyson and Johnny Newman who was left behind with Covid-like symptoms, but he tested negative earlier today. Alex Hemenway made his first career start, hit a pair of threes and finished with 8 points.
The Tigers forced 16 turnovers and converted those into 20 points. They also blocked 5 shots and came up with 6 steals.
Here’s the winning shot by Simms from the ACC Network: