Miami’s charmed season continued Sunday night as the Miami Hurricanes rallied from a 4-point delinquency in the last minute to hold off Clemson 45-43 in an Atlantic Coast Conference game at Littlejohn Coliseum.
Miami improved to 21-3 overall and 12-0 in the ACC, turning into the 1st ACC team to win its first 12 league games since Duke went 16-0 in 1999.
The 3rd-ranked Hurricanes have won 3 ACC games by 2 points or less this season.
For Clemson Tigers, the defeat was simply more heartbreak. The Tigers (13-12, 5-8) lost by 5 points or less for the 5th time this season.
Clemson held a 42-38 lead before Miami’s Rion Brown hit a runner in the lane and drew a foul with 1:01 left. He finished the 3-point play, pulling the Hurricanes inside 42-41.
Devin Booker hit the 1st of 2 free throws with 55 seconds remaining for a 43-41 lead, but Kenny Kadji buried a 3-pointer from the left wing with 34.7 seconds left to give Miami the lead for good.
Clemson’s Rod Hall was called for a charge with 13 seconds left and Trey McKinney Jones hit one free throw for a 45-43 lead. Clemson’s Hall missed a layup and K.J. McDaniel’s missed a tip-in attempt in the last seconds as Hurricanesheld on its 12th consecutive victory.
Miami, which is poised to rise to No. 2 in Monday’s polls — its highest ranking ever — hasn’t lost since a 57-55 overtime defeat against Indiana State on Christmas day.
Kadji was the lone Miami player in double figures with 12 points.
Clemson lost despite a sterling defensive effort that forced 13 Miami turnovers and a career-best game from guard Jordan Roper. Roper connected on 8-of-11 shots to close with a career-high 19 points and also had 4 steals.
However it wasn’t enough as Roper’s teammates went a mixed 11 for 45 (24.4 percent) from the field. Tigers also struggled from the free throw line, changing on just 5 of 13 attempts (38.5 percent), including just 3 of 10 in the 2nd half.
Miami Hurricanes took an 18-16 lead into halftime, but it didn’t come easily.
Both teams struggled mightily in the early going. Clemson Tigers and Miami mixed for 7 turnovers and just 4 field goals over the game’s first 10 minutes.
The Tigers made only one of their first 17 shots while the Miami Hurricanes connected on 3 of their first 13 attempts.
Miami Hurricanes led 8-2 before Clemson’s Adonis Filer put an end to the Tigers’ 9-minute scoring drought by burying a 3-pointer from the left wing. That shot stopped a streak of 15 consecutive misses by the Tigers, but also seemed to awaken the team.
Clemson went on to attach on 6 of its next 8 shots to drag ahead 15-12 on a fast break dunk by Devin Booker. But the Hurricanes replied with 6 of the final 7 points of the half to regain the lead. Basketball betting lines
Clemson freshman Jordan Roper and Miami’s Kenny Kadji were the sole 2 players to make more than one basket in the opening 20 minutes.