One-and-done: Short-handed Miami defeats Clemson in ACC Tournament
|Wednesday, March 10, 2021, 4:44 PM- -|
Down to just six scholarship players and playing a second game in 24 hours, Miami was supposed to the tired team. It was the No. 13 seed Hurricanes, however, who played clutch defense and put together a strong second half in defeating 5-seed Clemson 67-64 in the second round of the ACC Basketball Tournament Wednesday at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Miami advances to play No. 4 seed Georgia Tech at 2:30 pm Thursday. Clemson falls to 16-7 overall while Miami improves to 10-16.
The Tigers had a shot to win it at the end, but Nick Honor’s shot at the rim bounced off and Miami hit two free throws to win the game.
Aamir Simms scored 17 and Hunter Tyson added 16 to lead Clemson, while Isaiah Wong led Miami with 20 points. Clemson shot well from 3-point range (12-23) but went long stretches in the second half without a basket.
Clemson slipped to 21-67 in the ACC Tournament (1-2 versus Miami) and to 8-27 in tournament games played in Greensboro.
The Hurricanes became the first No. 13 seed to reach the ACC Tournament quarterfinals. In terms of seeding, Miami’s win over the No. 5 Tigers tied for the largest seed differential “upset” in tournament history
"We had chances, but we didn't play quite as well in certain areas as we would've liked. We shot the ball well and, for part of the game, moved it well, too," head coach Brad Brownell said. "We just couldn't guard. [Kameron] McGusty and [Isaiah] Wong are tremendous one-on-one players who shoot over the top of us a lot. Miami's guys played very efficiently and made some tough shots. The story of the game for us was committing too many turnovers and not being able to keep Miami out of the paint. We put ourselves in a position to win with a couple of steals late in the game, but give Miami a lot of credit. We've got to be better defensively."
Brownell said Honor got a good look on the last shot.
"You're not going to get a much better look than that," he said. "Miami made shots like that all day. We got what we wanted. It was just one of those days we didn't make them, but we needed to play a little bit better on previous possessions to win."
The Tigers came out on fire from beyond the arc to start the game, with Simms and Hunter Tyson hitting two apiece as Clemson jumped out to a 12-6 lead. Clemson eventually pushed the lead to nine at 21-12, but following a timeout, the Hurricanes went on a 10-0 run, punctuated at Nysier Brooks’ turnaround jumper in the lane, to take a 22-21 lead.
Honor hit a short jumper to end the run and put Clemson back in front, and a few minutes later, Simms nailed another 3-pointer to put the Tigers ahead 33-29 with 3:19 to play in the first half. Alex Hemenway then hit a 3-pointer of his own with 1:07 remaining, and the Tigers led 36-32 at intermission.
Honor hit a second-chance 3-pointer early in the second half that gave Clemson a 39-34 lead, but Miami once again roared back and took the lead 43-41 on a turnaround jumper by Anthony Walker at the 15-minute mark. Clyde Trapp tied the score on a layup, then hit a 3-pointer from the corner, and Al-Amir Dawes scored on a fast break for a 48-43 lead, prompting a Miami timeout.
The Canes came out of the timeout and scored on a quick alley-oop dunk, a turnround by Kameron McGusty, and then Walker hit a 3-pointer from the corner for a 50-48 Miami lead. This time, it was Clemson that called the timeout in an effort to stop the Miami run.
Tyson scored a quick basket out of the timeout, but Walker hit another 3-pointer as part of another 9-0 Miami run, and the Canes led 59-50 with eight minutes to play. The basket was part of a 16-2 run that saw the Tigers go over three minutes without a basket. Tyson ended that run with another 3-pointer that made it 59-53, and Simms scored four points in a two-minute span that made it 61-59, but Wong hit another big shot in the lane and Miami led 63-59 with just over three minutes to play.
The Tigers went cold again, missing several chances to close the gap, and McGusty’s jumper rolled all over the rim before falling in to give Miami a 65-59 lead with 1:36 to play. Dawes missed a hurried 3-pointer, but Wong also missed a jumper and Trapp nailed a 3-pointer that made it 65-62 with just 40 seconds to play.
The Tigers pressed on the inbounds pass and Walker’s errant pass was picked off by Dawes in the lane. As Dawes broke towards the basket, Walker knocked him to the floor for a quick foul. Dawes hit both free throws to make it 65-64 Miami with 36.1 seconds left in regulation.
The Tigers once again created a turnover and called a timeout with just over 14 seconds to play with a chance to win. Instead of going to Simms, Honor took the ball to the basket and missed the shot. It was rebounded by Miami, and the Hurricanes hit two foul shots and Clemson's ensuing inbounds pass was high and went through Simms' fingers as the final seconds ticked off.
Clemson will now await to see where it is seeded in next week’s NCAA Tournament (6 p.m. Selection Sunday show on CBS).
"I feel good about that. That'll be a tremendous honor for these young men," Brownell said. "They've played their hearts out for several months to get to this point. It's just disappointing. We felt like we had a chance to win some games here and get some positive momentum, but we'll be excited on Selection Sunday. It'll be a great reward and great recognition for these kids."
#13 Miami 67, #5 Clemson 64
Second Round - 2021 New York Life ACC Tournament
- Miami (10-16) advanced to Thursday’s 2:30 p.m. quarterfinal game versus No. 4 seed Georgia Tech (15-8). Georgia Tech won 87-60 in the regular-season meeting between the teams at Coral Gables on Feb. 20.
- The Hurricanes became the first No. 13 seed to reach the ACC Tournament quarterfinals. In terms of seeding, Miami’s win over the No. 5 Tigers tied for the largest seed differential “upset” in tournament history, and is the first such result since 2010, when the quarterfinal rounds saw No. 12 Miami defeat No. 4 Virginia Tech, as well as No. 11 NC State defeat No. 3 Florida State.
- With Wednesday’s result following Tuesday’s first-round win over Pitt and an 80-76 victory over Boston College in last Saturday’s regular-season finale, the Hurricanes have posted three consecutive wins for the first time since winning three straight games to open the season (vs. North Florida on 11/29, vs. Stetson on 12/4 and vs. Purdue on 12/8).
- The Hurricanes are now 11-6 in all-time ACC Tournament play in Greensboro and 6-9 elsewhere. The 11 victories are nine more ACC tourney wins than Miami has in any other city, and Greensboro is the only place in which the Hurricanes are over .500. Greensboro was the site of Miami’s lone ACC Tournament championship in 2013.
- Miami won at least one ACC Tournament game in eight (8) of head coach Jim Larrañaga’s 10 seasons and has now reached the quarterfinals seven times.
- Sophomore Isaiah Wong led three Hurricanes scoring in double figures on Wednesday with 20 points. Wong has tallied 20 points in each of Miami’s ACC Tournament games thus far.
- Clemson (16-7) lost to Miami for the first time in three meetings after winning both regular-season meetings versus the Hurricanes.
- Aamir Simms, honored prior to the game with the Skip Prosser Award as the ACC Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete, led the Tigers with 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Simms has scored in double figures in nine of his last 10 outings.
- Simms (3-for-5), Hunter Tyson (4-for-4) and Clyde Trapp (2-for-2) shot a combined 9-fo-11 from 3-point range. Clemson came up shot on Wednesday despite shooting 52.2% on 3-pointers (12-for-23) and outscoring Miami 36-15 from beyond the arc.
- Clemson slipped to 21-67 in the ACC Tournament (1-2 versus Miami) and to 8-27 in tournament games played in Greensboro.