Nijel Pack scored 20 points to lead five players in double figures Saturday as No. 23 Miami defeated No. 20 Clemson 78-74 to earn a key ACC road win.
Isaiah Wong contributed 15 points for the Hurricanes (18-5, 9-4 ACC), who won back-to-back games for the first time this calendar year. Wooga Poplar (14 points), Jordan Miller (12) and Norchad Omier (10) also came up big offensively for Miami.
The Tigers (18-6, 10-3) lost back-to-back games for the first time this season. PJ Hall paced Clemson with 19 points, while Brevin Galloway notched 15 points and Hunter Tyson chipped in 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Clemson shot 6 of 12 from 3-point range in the first half – including 3 of 3 by Tyson – as the teams were deadlocked 35-35 at intermission.
Tyson and Galloway made early 3-pointers as the Tigers jumped out to a 10-4 lead, but Miami caught up at 12-12 and neither team led by more than five over the remainder of the half.
The Hurricanes shot only 3 of 12 from 3-point range in the first half, but they knocked down three quick 3-pointers in the first three minutes of the second half to take a 44-38 lead with 17:07 to play. Miller added another 3-pointer before Wong’s three-point play gave Miami its first double-digit lead at 52-42 with 14:29 remaining.
The lead was still 10 with under eight minutes to go, when the Tigers began to mount a comeback. Alex Hemenway drained a 3-pointer and Hall made two free throws before Ben Middlebrooks’ fast-break layup to bring Clemson within 61-58 with 6:06 remaining.
Poplar’s 3-pointer with 4:39 remaining stretched Miami’s lead back to eight at 66-58.
Hall again sliced the Tigers’ deficit to three on two more occasions in the final three minutes. Miami made 3 of 4 free throws to stretch the lead to 73-67 with 27 seconds remaining.
Clemson kept things interesting in the final 10 seconds, but Pack closed it out from the foul line.
–Field Level Media