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Simms scores late to push Tigers past Miami

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Clemson erased a late four-point deficit to notch an important road win over the Hurricanes.

NCAA Basketball: Alabama at Clemson
Aamir Simms scored 25 points including the game-winning basket in the final minute.
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Aamir Simms had already played his best game of the season to date, but Clemson needed him to make one more play.

Nick Honor hit a three on the previous possession to cut Miami’s lead to one, and the shot clock was winding down when the ball came to Simms at the top of the key. The senior drove and put up a contested shot that banked in and gave the Tigers a 66-65 lead with 19 seconds to play.

On the Hurricanes’ ensuing possession, Honor knocked the ball away from Kameron McGusty into the hands of Jonathan Baehre, who dribbled the length of the court before losing the ball out of bounds with 0.3 seconds left. Miami’s full-court pass and shot attempt came frighteningly close to converting, but it bounced off the rim to secure the win for the Tigers.

Simms scored Clemson’s first eight points as the Tigers raced to a 21-9 lead. Their hot shooting didn’t continue, however, as Miami stormed back and took a 34-32 lead into halftime.

The second half was a back-and-forth affair, with neither team gaining much separation until a late 10-2 run by the Hurricanes gave them the late four-point lead.

Simms led the way for the Tigers in all facets, tying a career high with 25 points while adding seven rebounds, four assists and four blocks.

No other Clemson player reached double-figure points, but Alex Hemenway scored eight with Honor, Baehre, and PJ Hall each chipping in seven.

Isaiah Wong scored 13 points to lead Miami, and Earl Timberlake added 11 off the bench.

Clemson moved to 8-1 (2-1 ACC) on the season and will host NC State on Tuesday night.