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Clemson continues ACC win streak against Miami

Clemson+guard+Joseph+Girard+III+%2811%29+dribbles+past+Miami+defender+Kyshawn+George+%287%29+in+Clemsons+win+over+the+Hurricanes+at+Littlejohn+Coliseum+on+Feb.+14%2C+2024.
Toby Corriston
Clemson guard Joseph Girard III (11) dribbles past Miami defender Kyshawn George (7) in Clemson’s win over the Hurricanes at Littlejohn Coliseum on Feb. 14, 2024.

The last time the Clemson men’s basketball team played the Miami Hurricanes was in Coral Gables, Florida, where the Hurricanes scored 95 points in their win over the Tigers last month.

On Wednesday night, Clemson got its revenge, as the Tigers defeated the Miami Hurricanes in a back-and-forth 77-60 win at Littlejohn Coliseum, marking their third consecutive ACC win.

Roughly four minutes after tipoff, the Tigers (17-7, 7-6 ACC) wasted no time going on a 9-0 run highlighted by sharpshooting from guards Joseph Girard III and Chase Hunter as well as center PJ Hall, who collectively hit consecutive 3-pointers to seize an early lead.

“We were locked in on defense; that was definitely a key point coming into this game,” Hunter said after the win. “Coming into this game, we wanted to be aggressive on defense and make sure their best players weren’t getting some shots.”

This defensive aggression was evident as the Tigers scored 20 points off Hurricane turnovers and held them to only 60 points, their second-lowest of the season behind their 60-38 loss to Virginia earlier this month.

Clemson’s tough defense held Miami (15-10, 6-8 ACC) to hitting just one of its last eight shots from the field to close out the first half. The Hurricanes managed a 6-0 run despite the Tigers’ best efforts, bringing the game close and giving Clemson just a one-point advantage heading into halftime, leading 31-30.

Coming back out the gate, Brad Brownell’s team wasted no time regaining momentum. The Tigers went on another 9-0 run early in the second half to bring their lead to 44-38 with 13 minutes remaining.

Hunter connected a 3-pointer to break a deadlock and kickstart a pivotal run, with forward Jack Clark’s steal and layup on the fastbreak further fueling Clemson’s advantage.

With just under three minutes left on the clock, Hall dunked off a defensive rebound, which got the stands fired up.

“I give a lot of credit to our crowd,” Brownell said. “I want to thank them for their juice and energy tonight; we needed it. That is the kind of help that you need. They called two timeouts because the crowd was roaring as we made a couple shots and tried to get it to settle back down. Thank our students and fans who came to the game tonight; I think they made a big difference.”

As the clock ticked down, the Tigers capped off their performance and brought the game out of reach for the Hurricanes with a 24-3 run to end the night.

Leading the charge for Clemson was Hunter, who delivered a season-high 20-point performance and shot 5-for-8 from behind the arc. Girard, fresh off his milestone achievement of surpassing 2,000 career points and winning ACC Player of the Week, showcased his abilities on the court, shooting 5-for-14 from the field and 100% from the line, while Hall contributed 13 points and six rebounds to help propel the Tigers to victory.

Clemson forward Jack Clark, who missed a large chunk of the season while nursing an injury, made an impact on the court against the Hurricanes. Clark scored a season-high 8 points and grabbed six rebounds, and junior forward Ian Schieffelin also made his presence felt on the boards with 11 rebounds.

Overall, the squad shot 44.6% from the field and 43.3% from behind the arc. Clemson also attacked the inside and forced fouls, shooting 14-for-17 from the line.

The Tigers now sit above .500 in conference play for the first time this season.

The Tigers will look to continue their winning streak when they face off against NC State on Saturday in Littlejohn Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 7:45 p.m.

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About the Contributors
Sarah Pepe, Senior Reporter
Toby Corriston, Asst. Photo Editor
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