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Heartbreak at Cameron Indoor: Late-game Duke heroics shocks the Tigers

Toby Corriston
Clemson’s PJ Hall (24) attempts to block a Duke defender from grabbing a potential rebound as fans cheer at historic Cameron Indoor.

DURHAM, N.C. — The Tigers, now 13-6 (3-5 ACC), fell just short of their first win at Duke since 1995 on Saturday afternoon by a final score of 72-71.

Clemson was on the ropes and on the verge of defeat. After the Blue Devil’s Kyle Filipowski scored an and-one play to take the lead, the Tigers were down one with 12.4 seconds to go.

The ball came to PJ Hall, who drove into Filipowski to send him to the bench with his fifth foul of the game.

“Air Ball Hall,” chanted the Cameron Indoor Stadium crowd – but he proved them wrong.

He sank both, and the Tigers were back up one point, 71-70.

Heartbreak would ultimately set in for the visiting side when Duke’s Tyrese Proctor drove the ball into the paint, pulled up a shot, and caught contact by Clemson’s Josh Beadle. The resulting foul saw Proctor sink both free throws to seal the victory, 72-71.

Despite the close effort to end the game, the Tigers were trailing by no small margin in the first frame. A 17-2 run over a 7:30 minute period in favor of the Blue Devils (14-4, 5-2 ACC) allowed the home team to sprint away from Clemson early, as they led by as much as 12 points before going into halftime with a six-point edge over the Tigers.

It wasn’t until halfway through the latter frame when the teams began to evenly trade blows. Slowly but surely, head coach Brad Brownell and his squad began to chip away at Duke’s lead. A Hall pass to R.J. Godfrey put Clemson within one-point of retaking the lead, and at the eight minute mark the game was tied up at 54-54.

Just one possession later, a three-pointer from Hall helped the Tigers grab their first lead since the 10 minute mark of the first half, when a jumper from Dillon Hunter gave the team an 18-15 start.

As usual, Hall led the charge for the Tigers, scoring 19 points – 12 of which came in the second half – and grabbing 10 rebounds. Joseph Girard III added 13 of his own, all in the final frame.

The team was unable to stop the dynamic guard duo of Proctor and Jared McCain for the Blue Devils, who led the home team in scoring. While Proctor added 18 points of his own, McCain, a freshman, scored a game-high 21 points in the contest.

Clemson will be back in action on Tuesday night, when they will travel back home to face the Louisville Cardinals (6-14, 1-8 ACC) at Littlejohn Coliseum at 9 p.m.

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About the Contributors
Griffin Barfield
Griffin Barfield, Asst. Sports Editor
Toby Corriston, Asst. Photo Editor
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