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Clemson can't hold off Georgia Tech in 75-73 loss

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The Tigers let a 13-point second-half lead slip away in a loss that sealed their postseason fate.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Georges-Hunt scored 25 and Adam Smith caught fire in the second half as Georgia Tech overcame a 13-point deficit early in the second half to edge Clemson 75-73 in Atlanta on Tuesday night.

Donte Grantham hit a three to tie the game at 73 with 12 seconds remaining, but Georges-Hunt got into the paint as he did so many times and drew a blocking foul with three seconds left. He made both free throws, and Jaron Blossomgame's runner missed to the right as time expired.

Clemson, which was barely hanging onto a shred of NCAA Tournament hope, essentially ended any chance of a berth with a second straight gut-wrenching road loss.

Smith hit tough shot after tough shot to post 20 points for the Yellow Jackets.

Blossomgame scored 22 points for Clemson but had just five after halftime as he went 2 of 8 while struggling to get good looks.

Grantham chipped in 16 points, but no other Tiger scored in double figures.

Landry Nnoko was once again in foul trouble, and while Sidy Djitte was effective in the first half, he couldn't offer much later in the game.

Ty Hudson scored 8 points in just five minutes in the first half, while Gabe DeVoe added 5 points, 3 assists and 2 steals, but Brad Brownell opted to play Jordan Roper the entire second half while only playing DeVoe sparingly and not playing Hudson at all. Roper played all 40 minutes but was scoreless on 0 for 6 shooting, and posted only two assists in 20 minutes of second-half playing time.

Although Clemson built its lead back to 13 in the second half, there was an ominous momentum swing to end the first half. The Tigers led by 12 with the ball and virtually no difference between shot and game clock, but Roper drove to attempt a tough runner with about 10 seconds left, and Georgia Tech advanced the rebound up the sideline for a desperation three by Georges-Hunt, which went in to cut Clemson's halftime lead to 9.

The Jackets got an obvious morale boost and played with more determination in the second half.