Hurricanes Blow Past Clemson 62-38


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CORAL GABLES, Fla. - When Clemson jumped out to a quick 12-1 lead at Miami Wednesday night, it looked as if the stretch of four road games in the next five contests would get off to a good start.

Appearances can be deceiving.

The Hurricanes outscored the Tigers 26-9 the rest of the first half, then blew things open after the intermission and rolled to a 62-38 victory. It was Clemson's lowest point output since scoring 35 against Oregon in 1999.

"We went stone cold for three quarters of the game," Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell said. "On a night that occurs, your defense needs to be near-perfect. For about seven or eight minutes it was, then we quit doing the things we had talked about.

"But you have to give Miami's zone credit. It's a pretty good zone, and it's one reason they've won five in a row."

The Tigers (13-5, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) struggled offensively all evening against Miami's zone defense. Purnell's team hit just 15-of-59 field goal attempts (25 percent), including a miniscule 14 percent (4-of-28) from behind the 3-point arc. The overall field goal percentage was the third worst in school history.

Clemson also struggled again from the free thrown line, converting only four of 11 attempts (36 percent).

"It's one of those nights in your coaching career you can't believe the lid's on the basket that tight, but you have to give Miami credit," Purnell said.

For Miami (11-6, 3-1 ACC), it was a third straight victory inside the league - the 'Canes had previously scored road victories at Maryland and North Carolina. The Hurricanes placed four players in double figures Wednesday - Guillermo Diaz with 12, Robert Hite and Anthony King with 11, and Denis Clemente with 10.

Miami got the 24-point victory despite Clemson's defense holding the 'Canes to 46 percent shooting (23-of-50) - 4-of-14 from the 3-point line.

Turnovers, and points off them, played a key role in the outcome. Clemson's 18 turnovers led to 20 Miami points. The 'Canes gave it away just 12 times, leading to just three points for the Tigers.

No Clemson player scored in double figures. K.C. Rivers topped the Tigers with eight points. Akin Akingbala had seven, while Sam Perry and Vernon Hamilton finished with five each.

Clemson is back in action on Saturday, traveling to Georgia Tech.

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