Young hits big basket to help lift Tigers over Miami


by - Senior Writer -
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Jerai Grant led the Tigers with 18 points and added 11 rebounds for his third double-double this season.

CLEMSON – Andre Young stared down the oncoming Miami defense and then stuck a dagger in its collective heart.

Young hit a crucial basket as the shot clock expired and 43 seconds left on the game clock, helping lift the Tigers to a 79-72 victory over Miami Saturday evening in Littlejohn Coliseum, the seventh win in a row and first-ever Atlantic Coast Conference win for head coach Brad Brownell.

The Tigers (12-4 overall, 1-1 ACC) led by a 74-71 score and with the Miami defense tightening up, Demontez Stitt threw a quick pass to Young, who tried a crossover dribble before falling back to drill the shot from the left side as two Miami defenders rushed at him and the shot clocked ticked to zero.

Miami had pulled to within 74-71 on Durand Scott's banker with 1:16 left, but Young’s basket served as a game-winner even though the game’s outcome wouldn’t be decided for another 43 seconds. From that point on, the Tigers hit 3-of-4 free throws, and Miami (11-5, 0-2) was only able to hit a single free throw in the final 1:21 of the contest in falling for just the second time in 11 games.

“It was a big shot because it made it a two possession game,” Young said of his shot. “The crowd really got into it after that and that gave us a big boost of confidence. We were really happy with our crowd tonight and they definitely helped us win the game.

“I looked and I had about five seconds so I knew I had to make a move. I take pride in taking that kind of shot. Those are the kind of shots you practice making. I’ve made a couple of those in my college career, so I was confident enough to take that shot and eventually make it.”

Brownell called it a “Hail Mary” type of shot, but said he had chided Young in a walk-through on Saturday about not taking big shots.

“It was a Hail Mary, just him making a play,” Brownell said. “A great player making a great play. The thing that’s funny is that we actually ran a play in walk-through today against zone where Andre came off the ball screen and didn’t shoot, and I stopped practice and said, ‘Hey Andre, you realize you are at the point in your career now that we run plays for you to shoot.’

“He kind of looked at me sheepishly and we ran the play again and he shot it in. Then today, we ran a play out of timeout for Andre and Devin in the huddle said, ‘Yeah, this is gonna work, knock this in.’ We’ve got a lot of guys who haven’t had to do that. They’ve been waiting around for Trevor Booker and he’s not playing. It was a big shot before that and I think that shot gave him the confidence to make the next one.”

Clemson led by just one point at halftime – at 34-33 – despite leading by as many as nine points, including the last time with just over five minutes remaining in the half.

Stitt hit a pair of 3-pointers and Jerai Grant grabbed several offensive boards and the Tigers' tight defense kept Miami off balance as Clemson jumped out to a 12-6 lead.

Clemson extended the advantage to 32-23 after Tanner Smith's jumper with five minutes left in the half, but Miami head coach Frank Haith called a timeout to settle his team.

The strategy worked as the Hurricanes closed the half with a 10-2 run. Malcolm Grant hit two foul shots and a jumper, and Durand Scott hit four free throws in the final 70 seconds to cut the lead to 34-33.


Grant had 18 points and Stitt added 17 for the Tigers. Grant added 11 rebounds for his third double-double this season, while Stitt had 11 of his points in the second half, including five in a 12-0 run to start the half.

The Tigers led by as many as 13 points following that run, but Miami started to tighten up the inside defense. Malcolm Grant's 3-pointer drew Miami to 57-55 with 8 minutes left, but Devin Booker hit two free throws and Stitt and Milton Jennings each hit a pair of long-range shots to increase Clemson's lead to 60-55 with 5:30 left in the game.

Scott hit his bank shot as the Hurricanes made one final run, cutting the Tiger lead to 74-71, but Young cut the rally short with his big shot.

Jennings finished with 12 points while Young added 11 to join Stitt and Grant as double-figure scorers for the Tigers.

“I was really proud of how spirited we were,” Brownell said. “We played with more confidence, which is certainly not only necessary but a major positive step for us to feel comfortable. We needed to be able to battle through a lot of adversity at times. I talked to our guys about that before the game because we haven’t had a lot of that over the past four games.

“We had to continue to make shots and execute offensively and score. We couldn’t get enough stops to get the game put away with our defense, so it put a lot more pressure on us offensively. It was good for our team to have to win a game like that. I prefer to win on defense, but this was good for us to win in a different way.”

Brownell said he realizes the significance of his first ACC win.

“It’s a significant moment just from the standpoint of getting to this moment, and it’s a dream come true of getting to this level and being able to coach at a school like Clemson,” he said. “If you want to stay here you have to win a lot more, so get after it. This is the type of game you have to play in. I’m proud of all the people he helped me get to this point. You don’t get to this point as a coach by yourself.”

Scott finished with a game-high 24 points for the Hurricanes, who lost to Clemson for the fourth consecutive time.

Haith said Grant played better than his post players.

“Clemson was just more aggressive than we were; on rebounding and on transition buckets,” Haith said. Grant just kicked our big guys’ butts. He was outstanding and our guys just didn’t have a chance. He just dominated our bigs to the point that we didn’t get much production out of them, and that was disappointing. We can build on this game but we just have to get better production out of our posts.

“He’s [Grant] terrific. He was terrific tonight and watching him on tape, he looks like he’s really improved. I really think he’s one of the better post players in this league, just because of how hard he plays. That’s something our guys need to learn. When you play as hard as he plays, good things are going to happen. He shoots a high percentage and doesn’t take a bad shot. I really respect him as a player.”

Clemson returns to action Tuesday night, hosting Georgia Tech at 7 p.m. in Littlejohn Coliseum.



VISITORS: Miami 11-5, 0-2
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
31 Jones, DeQuan....... f  1-1    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   2  0  1  0  0   6
32 Swoope, Erik........ f  0-1    0-0    0-1    0  2  2   5   0  1  0  0  0  16
42 Johnson, Reggie..... c  1-3    0-0    4-4    3  5  8   4   6  1  2  0  0  26
01 Scott, Durand....... g  6-12   0-2   12-13   0  3  3   1  24  0  3  0  1  34
03 Grant, Malcolm...... g  5-16   3-9    2-2    0  0  0   0  15  2  2  0  2  32
10 Akpejiori, Raphael..    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   1
15 Brown, Rion.........    0-1    0-1    1-2    0  0  0   1   1  0  0  0  0  16
25 Adams, Garrius......    5-9    4-6    0-0    2  3  5   1  14  3  0  0  1  34
30 Thomas, Adrian......    3-7    2-5    0-0    2  1  3   5   8  1  0  0  1  21
45 Gamble, Julian......    1-3    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   1   2  1  0  0  2  14
   TEAM................                         4  2  6
   Totals..............   22-53   9-23  19-22  11 16 27  18  72  9  8  0  7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-25 40.0%   2nd Half: 12-28 42.9%   Game: 41.5%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  4-9  44.4%   2nd Half:  5-14 35.7%   Game: 39.1%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  9-10 90.0%   2nd Half: 10-12 83.3%   Game: 86.4%    0


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: Clemson 12-4, 1-1
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
31 Booker, Devin....... f  2-6    0-2    5-6    1  2  3   0   9  2  0  1  1  24
45 Grant, Jerai........ f  6-11   0-0    6-8    5  6 11   3  18  0  3  2  1  32
02 Stitt, Demontez..... g  6-11   4-7    1-1    1  1  2   3  17  2  1  0  0  32
05 Smith, Tanner....... g  2-4    1-2    1-2    0  6  6   4   6  5  1  1  1  27
11 Young, Andre........ g  4-9    1-5    2-2    2  0  2   3  11  3  1  0  0  30
03 Anderson, Zavier....    2-2    0-0    0-0    1  2  3   3   4  2  0  2  1  12
10 Baciu, Catalin......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   0   0  0  0  0  0   2
12 Stanton, Cory.......    0-1    0-1    0-0    0  0  0   2   0  0  0  0  1  11
21 Narcisse, Bryan.....    1-1    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   2  0  2  1  0   8
24 Jennings, Milton....    3-7    2-4    4-4    1  2  3   1  12  0  2  1  1  22
   TEAM................                         1  2  3
   Totals..............   26-52   8-21  19-23  12 22 34  19  79 14 10  8  6 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 13-30 43.3%   2nd Half: 13-22 59.1%   Game: 50.0%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  3-14 21.4%   2nd Half:  5-7  71.4%   Game: 38.1%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  5-6  83.3%   2nd Half: 14-17 82.4%   Game: 82.6%   2,1


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Officials: Jamie Luckie, Raymond Styons, Tim Kelly
Technical fouls: Miami-None. Clemson-None.
Attendance: 8592
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Miami.........................   33   39  -   72
Clemson.......................   34   45  -   79

Points in the paint-UM 14,CU 24. Points off turnovers-UM 11,CU 10.
2nd chance points-UM 8,CU 17. Fast break points-UM 0,CU 4.
Bench points-UM 25,CU 18. Score tied-2 times. Lead changed-4 times.
Last FG-UM 2nd-01:20, CU 2nd-00:42.
Largest lead-UM by 1 1st-12:36, CU by 13 2nd-16:53.

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