Mustapha Farrakhan hit a go-ahead jumper with 35.8 seconds to play and four free throws in the final 23.9 seconds Wednesday night, rescuing Virginia after a brutal second half and giving the Cavaliers a 49-47 victory against Clemson.
The Cavaliers (12-10, 3-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) won for the second time in seven games despite being outscored 19-4 over an 11-minute stretch into the game’s final minute.
Clemson (15-7, 4-4) scored just 13 points in the first half and shot no better than 25 percent for most of the night. The Tigers missed a chance to pull even for a second time in the final minute when Demontez Stitt missed the first of a one-and-one with 26.7 seconds left.
Farrakhan hit two free throws with 23.9 seconds to go, and two more with 11.4 seconds to play, after Devin Booker scored for the Tigers. Farrakhan was fouled again with 2.8 seconds left, but was injured, and Assane Sene, a 56-percent free-throw shooter, made 1 of 2.
Clemson inbounded the ball, but threw it away before getting a final shot.
Farrakhan led Virginia with 21 points and Sammy Zeglinski had 12 on four 3-pointers, all in the first 7 minutes of the game. Andre Young led the Tigers with 13 points.
After a jumper by KT Harrell gave the Cavaliers a 38-23 lead with 11:37 to go, Virginia went 5 1/2 minutes before scoring again on a layup by Jontel Evans, and then another 2 1/2 minutes before Evans scored again on a driving layup, giving his team a shaky 42-35 advantage.
Stitt then hit a pair of free throws, and Young hit a 3-pointer, pulling the Tigers within 2. After Evans missed the front end of a one-and-one, two free throws by Young pulled Clemson even at 42-all with 49.7 seconds to go, setting up Farrakhan’s clutch finish.
Coach Tony Bennett put Zeglinski in the starting lineup for only the second time this season, and the move paid instant dividends. Zeglinski hit a 3-pointer 1:50 into the game and three more in the next 5 minutes, giving Virginia a 14-1 lead as the Tigers started 0-for-8.
After building their lead to 18-7, the Cavaliers went more than 6 minutes without a point, and when Farrakhan broke the drought with a 3-pointer 4:05 before halftime, it gave Virginia a 21-13 lead and began an 11-0 run for the Virginia senior to close the half.
The Tigers went scoreless for the rest of the half after Young’s driving layup with 7:07 to go. Their 13 first-half points were their lowest total of the season.
Farrakhan matched it and Zeglinski had 12 for the Cavaliers at the break.