Clemson clawed its way back from a double-digit second half deficit and took a two-point lead into the final seconds of overtime before Virginia Tech’s Darius Maddox hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer for a 76-75 victory in the Second Round of the ACC Tournament in Brooklyn, NY, Wednesday.
The Tigers trailed by 11 at halftime and 14 early in the second half as the Hokies found success from behind the arc, hitting six of their first eight 3-pointers. Former Wofford Terrier Storm Murphy led the barrage, knocking down all four of his first half shots from long distance before Clemson (17-16, 8-12) staged its comeback. Point guard Nick Honor sank a 3-pointer to cap an 11-1 run and give the Tigers a 62-61 lead with 1:09 to play. The teams traded the lead again before P.J. Hall’s jump hook knotted the game at 66 and sent the game into overtime.
In a game that featured 14 lead changes, Clemson took the advantage back on free throws from Hall and Al-Amir Dawes in the extra session. The Tigers led 75-73 with six seconds left when VT’s Maddox dribbled the length of the court and sank a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to clinch the win.
Hall led four Tigers in double figures with 16 points. David Collins (12 points) again found himself in foul trouble, picking up a fourth personal with 9:23 to go before fouling out with two minutes remaining.
In his postgame comments, Brad Brownell called it a “brutal ending,” but was proud of the way his team overcame adversity and made plays down the stretch to “put ourselves in a position to win.” Brownell also indicated that Clemson would accept an NIT bid, if offered, “I’d have to talk with my players, but I think that is something we’d like to do.”