Clemson, SC - As usual, life away from home can be trying in the ACC, but the University of Miami (9-3, 1-1) survived its first conference road test, escaping Littlejohn Coliseum with a 73-68 overtime victory against a struggling Clemson squad.
With Clemson head coach Brad Brownell attempting to cool his increasingly-toasty hot seat, and avoid an 0-3 start to conference play, the Tigers (6-7, 0-3) built an early 19-11 lead, eventually increasing their advantage to 55-45 in the second half. But that’s when Chris Lykes and the Hurricanes went to work, outscoring Clemson 17-7 over the final 8:33 to force overtime.
In the extra session, Miami scored the first four points before the Tigers answered with six-straight. Trailing 68-66, the Canes closed with a 7-0 run, sparked by two Lykes free throws and a clutch Dejan Vasiljevic triple that gave Miami the lead for good with 59 seconds to play.
Despite missing three of his first four from downtown, Vasiljevic delivered when it mattered most, scoring five of his 15 points in the final minute of overtime. Kameron McGusty also weathered a sub-par shooting performance from 3-point range to chip in 15.
However, the main catalyst for the Hurricanes’ offense was Lykes, who finished with 27 points on 10-of-16 from the floor. Entering Tuesday’s contest, the junior guard needed just 10 points for 1,000, and he accomplished the feat with a free throw at the 16:13 mark of the second half.
Sitting at 1-1 in the ACC, the win at Clemson takes on added significance with Miami and head coach Jim Larranaga now turning their attention to a brutal two-game stretch that includes Saturday’s home meeting with No. 2 Duke and a Tuesday road trip to seventh-ranked Louisville.
Saturday’s showdown with the Blue Devils will tip at 8 p.m. on ESPN. Tuesday night’s Louisville game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start on ESPN2.
To download pics from the Clemson game, you can view and download them here: https://adobe.ly/39AR9O7