It wasn’t pretty and it didn’t come easy, but Clemson basketball found a way to survive and advance Wednesday during the ACC Tournament.
The Clemson basketball team survived an ugly outing in the second-round of the ACC Tournament and found a way to beat the Miami Hurricanes 69-64 Wednesday afternoon.
The Tigers and Hurricanes got out to a rough start, leading to a 23-21 halftime score. During the first half, Clemson led by as a many as seven, but an 11-0 run from Miami allowed the Hurricanes to go up and eventually take the two-point lead into halftime. Interestingly enough, Miami had not lost a game when leading at halftime all season.
The big story of the game was how Clemson conducted itself at the free-throw line. Though the Tigers have struggled from the charity stripe during the season, the team with 18-of-19 in the second half. Clemson didn’t shoot a single free-throw in the first half, but that 94.7 percentage from the line was good enough for a school record.
Al-Amir Dawes led the team with 18 points while Aamir Simms added 14 points and 10 rebounds. The Tigers finished the day shooting just 46.8 percent from the field, but benefited from the fact that Miami shot just 38.1 percent from the field.
In the end, this win pretty much clinched an NIT Tournament bid for the Tigers, but it doesn’t give much confidence moving forward that Clemson will be sticking around in the ACC Tournament.
The Tigers didn’t show good situational awareness towards the end of the game and turned the ball over, keeping Miami in it far after the Hurricanes should’ve been put away.
Clemson will take on the No. 1-seeded Florida State Seminoles at 12:30 p.m. Thursday. The winner of this game will advance to the semifinals.
For those wondering, the Tigers will need to win the tournament to lock up a bid in the NCAA Tournament.