Nick Honor takes it to the bank, hitting game-winner to beat Georgia Tech
|Friday, February 12, 2021, 10:23 PM- -|
CLEMSON – Nick Honor took it to the bank.
Honor’s 3-point shot from 25 feet banked in off the glass with a little over one second remaining, giving Clemson a thrilling 74-72 victory over Georgia Tech in Littlejohn Coliseum Friday night.
Trailing 72-71 and with just 8.4 seconds left to play, the Tigers fouled Georgia Tech point guard Jose Alvarado, an 88-percent free throw shooter. Alvarado missed both free throws, opening the door for the Tigers.
Clemson was out of timeouts and couldn’t stop the clock, so Honor followed a hard screen by Aamir Simms (on Alvarado) and banked in his game-winning shot. Simms tied his career-high with 25 points, while Honor scored 12. Clyde Trapp pulled down eight rebounds for the Tigers, who out-rebounded the Jackets 31-24.
Clemson improves to 13-5 overall and 7-5 in the ACC while Georgia Tech falls to 9-8 overall and 5-6 in the league. Clemson has now won four out of five and three in a row.
Clemson has won five-of-the-last-eight in the series dating back to the 2016-17 season.
The Tigers were competitive in the first half despite going almost seven minutes without a basket at the end of the half. The teams traded baskets for much of the first eight minutes but the Jackets went on a 16-9 run over the next seven minutes and led 28-19 heading into the final five minutes of the opening stanza.
Alex Hemenway stopped the Jacket run with two free throws that made it 28-21, but Michael Devoe hit two free throws for Tech and the Jackets led 30-21 with 2:04 remaining. The Tigers were able to hit five free throws over the remaining two minutes and Tech led 30-26 at intermission. However, Honor’s made basket at the 6:58 mark was the last field goal for the Tigers in the half.
The Yellow Jackets scored the first points of the second half to go ahead 32-26, but Simms broke the Tigers’ scoring drought from the field just 38 seconds into the half to pull Clemson back to within four at 32-28. Tech then led 37-33 when Clyde Trapp hit a 3-pointer that made it 37-36, and then Tech head coach Josh Pastner drew a technical foul when he smashed his faceguard after a backcourt call against his team. Hunter Tyson hit both technical free throws and the Tigers were in front at 38-37.
The next 13 minutes were a back-and-forth affair, with the teams trading baskets and neither team gaining more than a 3-point advantage. Trailing 68-67 with just over a minute to play, the Tigers had a chance to take the lead but Honor had a shot blocked out of bounds by Moses Wright. On the inbounds, Simms tried a short jumper from the key and that shot was blocked by Wright.
Jose Alvarado then got loose under the basket, and his layup gave the Jackets a 70-67 lead with 37 seconds to play. The Tigers called a timeout and then got the ball in to Simms, who hit a short floater in the lane for his 25th point, tying a career-high. With 30 seconds left to play, the Jackets led 70-69.
The Jackets were able to run 10 seconds off the clock before Trapp fouled Devoe, who hit both free throws for a 72-69 lead at the 18 second mark. The Tigers came out of a timeout and Jonathan Baehre hit a dunk that made it 72-71 with just 11 seconds left to play, setting up the final drama.
Clemson returns to action next Wednesday, traveling to Notre Dame to take on the Irish at 7 p.m. at the Joyce Center (RSN). The Tigers then travel to Pitt to take on the Panthers next Sunday (Feb. 21) at 6 p.m.
Head Coach Brad Brownell’s Postgame Quotes
"That was a heck of a game. Georgia Tech is hard for us to guard. Their guards are excellent with their ability to drive. We made a bunch of shots in the second half tonight and played with great confidence down the stretch. We made a lot of big plays to keep us in the game."
On Nick Honor's game-winner:
"We set a nice ball screen at midcourt and got Nick loose, and he banked one in. That was a great fight and a terrific win."
On Aamir Simms' performance:
"Aamir was fantastic. Being able to play through him really helped us and settled us the longer the game went on."
On the keys to the game:
"We did some nice things in terms of being aggressive. Finishing the first half the way we did gave us some energy at halftime. I thought we would play better offensively in the second half, and we did. It was a game of scoring in the second half. That doesn't always work to our advantage, but, today, it did."
Honor is fourth Clemson player to make a game winning 3 point shot inside last 5 seconds but first to do it at home.— Tim Bourret (@TimBourret) February 13, 2021