CORAL GABLES, Fla. (Jan. 2, 2021) – The 4-3 Miami Hurricanes hosted Clemson Saturday afternoon, looking to pick up its first ACC win of the season. Things looked grim for Miami in the early goings as the offense struggled with turnovers and Clemson’s deadly form beyond the arc, but the hard-nosed defense allowed Miami to claw its way back into the game and take the lead after the first 20 minutes. A tight second half came down to the wire with 5-0 run by Clemson in the final minute gave the Tigers a 66-65 win.
It was feast or famine for both sides to open the game as turnovers plagued both teams, but the three-point shots were falling. At the first media time out the score sat at 11-6 in favor of Clemson with five of the six shots made in the game coming from downton.
Clemon’s high-pressure defense flummoxed the Canes offense early in the first half as Miami struggled to find lanes to the basketball and was forced to throw up contested three’s time and again.
At the midpoint of half number one, Miami began to find its footing on offense, breaking through the Clemson defensive line for easy shots. A quick six-point run lead by Kameron McGusty brought Miami’s deficit back into single digits with the Tiger’s leading 24-15 with under 10 minutes to play.
The Hurricanes turned up the intensity on defense to close out the first half and would head into the locker room up 34-32, despite turning the ball over nine times. It was the freshman Matt Cross leading the charge as he finished the period with a team-high nine points on 3-3 shooting, four rebounds and two assists.
Spreading the wealth today at Watsco. Six good guys now have 5+ points on the afternoon.
Canes 42, Clemson 41 | 15:41 2H https://t.co/yNejrxASoO
— Canes Hoops (@CanesHoops) January 2, 2021
It was a blazing start to the second half as both teams hit double-digit points before the midway point. Though Clemson was more efficient, Miami continued to scrap for every point and held a 44-43 lead at the 14-minute mark.
Sophomore Harlond Beverly was dominant for the Canes early in the second half accounting for 10 of Miami’s 15 points to start the half, but the hot shooting had the Tigers ahead 51-49 at the midway point of the half.
The Canes and Tigers would go blow for blow, but Clemson’s size and timely free throw shooting would push their lead to 59-55 with five minutes left to play in the game.
An Earl Timberlake three sparked an 8-2 run for Miami and would put them ahead 63-61 in the waning minutes of the game.
It looked like a second chance three-pointer for Clemson and a turnover by Miami with four seconds left on the clock would seal a 66-65 victory for the Tigers.
Miami was given a final lifeline with an inbounds play with .3 seconds left on the clock. Cross flung a full-court heave that Isaiah Wong was able to put on frame but the last-ditch effort would bounce out of the rim.