The men’s basketball game began ugly in the first half for the Clemson Tigers and Miami Hurricanes offensively; in the second half both teams were able to find the offense they were missing going on runs, but the team with the ball last in their hands benefited.
Zach Johnson connected on a banked jumper with 0.4 seconds remaining to give the Hurricanes a 65-64 victory over the Tigers on Wednesday night.
“When it hit the backboard, oh boy, then it spun around the rim a couple of times,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. “You know what? That’s got a chance, and it went in.”
It was only Johnson’s sixth point, the Hurricanes (11-13, 3-9 ACC) were led offensively by junior guard Dejan Vasiljevic finished with a career-high 22 points, including 18 in the second half. Sophomore guard Chris Lykes finished with 21 points.
Lykes is averaging 19 points in the five games since scoring a career-low one point in a 78-66 loss to Florida State on Jan. 27.
The second half was where the excitement was. The Tigers rallied from a 63-58 deficit and scored six unanswered points. Marcquise Reed’s two free throws with 1:16 remaining gave Clemson a 64-63 lead.
“Might have traveled. I thought our defense was really good. We got a good defensive stop; they had a good possession stop,” Tigers coach Brad Brownell shared. “Then obviously we got a foul out of them, and about three different times they try to drive, and we stop them. They jump up, the guy fumbles the ball, picks it up, and our guy is right in his face. Then he banks in.”
The Tigers fell short of their second five-game win streak of the season. Clemson started the season with five consecutive victories.
The Tigers conclude a two-game road set Saturday at No. 16 Louisville. The Hurricanes visit Boston College on Sunday.