Story by Justin Mathis
The last time that Clemson and Miami clashed on the hardwood was back on January 2nd, when the Tigers used a late burst to squeak by the Hurricanes 66-65, at the Watsco Center. On this day, sophomore guard Al-Amir Dawes provided a huge spark and helped propel Clemson to a 66-58 victory over Miami at Littlejohn Coliseum.
Trailing by five points midway through the opening half, Dawes entered the game and immediately got the ball rolling, going on a 10-0 run by himself – including a pair of three pointers – to push the Tigers ahead 26-23 with 7:10 left before intermission.
Later on in the second stanza, after Miami cut the deficit down to three, Dawes and Hunter Tyson each drained a three on consecutive trips down the floor, increasing the Tigers’ advantage to 51-42 with 10:31 left. With less than three minutes to play, Clemson got a trio of key baskets – a driving layup by Nick Honor, along with triples from Tyson and Aamir Simms – which built a 65-54 advantage at that juncture of the contest.
Dawes and Simms both finished the day with a team-high 19 points. Dawes was 7-for-9 from the floor (4 for 4 from behind the arc), while Simms was 8-for-12 shooting (3 for 4 from distance). Tyson also notched double figures with 10 points. Miami’s Isaiah Wong finished with a game-high 28 points in the loss.
Clemson improves to 15-5 overall and 9-5 in ACC play, the fifth straight win in conference play for the Tigers.
The last time the Tigers had a five game winning streak in ACC play was the 1990-91 campaign, when they won the regular season conference title. The win also marks the 200th career victory for Brad Brownell as head coach of the Tigers.
Next up for Clemson is a road trip to face the Syracuse Orange on Wednesday, at 5 p.m.