The Clemson Tigers shot themselves in the foot down the stretch, resulting in a 75-80 defeat to the Miami Hurricanes. This was Clemson’s first loss in conference play this season. An impressively bad 18 turnovers combined with a Hurricane 19-3 run to close the game, created for yet another frustrating loss.
This afternoon was one of the few losses where Clemson was the first team to score 60. Hunter Tyson, PJ Hall, David Collins, and Chase Hunter all notched double figures scoring. Clemson made nine 3-pointers, shot 12-14 from the foul line, and out-rebounded the Canes by 18. The Tigers had 18 second chance points, 19 bench points, 36 points in the paint, and held the lead for over 35 minutes during the game.
The Tigers inability to close out games continues to haunt this team. Clemson had complete and full control of this game, but crumbled in crunch time.
Miami missed their first five shots of the game and the Tigers got hot early, going on a 10-3 run to start things off. Hunter Tyson and Al-Amir Dawes were beginning to heat up, as they hit two consecutive 3-pointers at a crucial time in the first half. We saw Chase Hunter hit his first 3-pointer of the season, David Collins was wreaking havoc defensively, and PJ Hall was asserting his dominence. The ball was bouncing the Tigers way in the first half. They had a six point lead heading into the break.
The Hurricanes were struggling to find their footing shooting the ball in the first stanza of play. They were 12-30 from the floor, and just 5-12 from deep. The Canes went into halftime with just three players with five or more points.
After the halftime break, both teams were trading buckets. Clemson and Miami combined to shoot 12-17 in the first eight minutes of the second half. Naz Bohannon came off the bench and was a major spark plug for the Tigers, doing a great job crashing the glass. With five minutes left in the game, Clemson had its largest lead at 70-61.
The fun did not last long after that. Miami went on an 11-0 run in under three minutes to take their first lead of the half, with 02:29 remaining. Sam Waardenburg caused tons of trouble for Tigers in the finals minutes of the game with his scoring and passing. Waardenburg ended the contest with 18 points and three assists.
In the final five minutes, Clemson had four turnovers. The Tigers also only managed to score just five points in those last five minutes, while they let the Canes light them up for 19 points in that same time frame.
Other than Chase Hunter’s career-high 15 points, not many positives came out of this loss. Tournament hopes for the Tigers are very quickly diminishing. Heading into the gauntlet ACC play, dropping winnable games vs Miami is unacceptable. Kenpom is now predicting that the Tigers to go 9-11 in conference play. Clemson joins Pitt and Notre Dame as teams who currently are below .500 in conference play.
The next stretch of games against Drake, Miami (OH), and South Carolina are must wins for the Tigers, as our postseason dreams are becoming more unrealistic by the hour.