Clemson suffered yet another single digit defeat Sunday night at Littlejohn Coliseum, they’re eighth of the season, falling to third ranked Miami 45-43. The Tigers drop to 13-12 overall and 5-8 in the ACC with their fourth loss in their last five games. Miami improves to 21-3 and 12-0 in the ACC with its 13th straight overall win. The Hurricanes are the first ACC team to open 12-0 in league play since Duke went 16-0 in 1999.
Clemson led by four with two minutes to play after a Jordan Roper steal and layup. A Rion Brown jumper and free throw with a minute left made it a one point game. KJ McDaniels made one of two free throws six seconds later to put the Tigers up two. Miami’s Kenny Kadji then hit a three pointer with :36 left to put the Hurricanes up by one.
After a time out, the Tigers Rod Hall was called for a charge driving to the basket with :12 left. Trey McKinney-Jones hit one of two foul shots to make it 45-43 with :08 to play.
Hall had the ball for Clemson’s final possession and again drove hard to the basket. His layup rolled off the rim and McDaniels and Devin Booker both got their hands on the ball in an attempt to dunk it home. Instead the ball flew over the rim as time expired.
“First off, I am extremely proud of our players,” said Clemson coach Brad Brownell. “I thought we competed really well. We executed the game plan exceptionally well. We expected to win the game and I thought we played that way in most instances. Offensively, we could not finish some plays that we have go to make.”
Roper led all scorers with a career high 19 points. Booker had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Kadji led the Hurricanes with 12 points.
Clemson shot only 30% for the game and the Tigers need only look at the foul shooting numbers as the difference between a win and a loss. They were 5-13 from the stripe compared to Miami’s 6-7. The Tigers were just 2 for 9 from the line over the final seven minutes.
Clemson is off until Saturday when they play at Maryland. Miami will go for it’s 13th straight ACC win at home Tuesday night against Virginia.