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Miami Takes Down #16 Clemson, 95-82

The Canes get a big home-conference win.

Clemson v Miami Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

The Miami Hurricanes beat the Clemson Tigers tonight at the Watsco Center, 95-82. Nijel Pack led the Canes with 25 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. Matthew Cleveland scored a career-high 23 points, plus added 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Norchad Omier had 23 points and 6 rebounds. Miami improves to 11-2, 2-0 ACC. Clemson falls to 11-2, 1-1 ACC.

Below are some random thoughts from today’s game.

Pack returns

It was great to see Nijel Pack back and healthy for Coach L tonight. The rest seemed to have helped. He had his second-highest scoring total of the season and was controlling the flow of the game for long stretches in the second half. Part of that control was his perfect shooting. Pack went 6-6 from the field and 6-6 from the free-throw line after halftime. With no Wooga Poplar, Nijel needed to step up in a big way. He did just that.

Baby Food!

Omier was the best big man on the floor tonight in a game featuring the much celebrated PJ Hall. Hall had a good game with 17 points and 6 rebounds. However, he also had 4 turnovers and fouled out of the game. Omier matched Hall in rebounds, committed only one turnover, and stayed out of foul trouble for the second half. Baby Food was eating under the basket against Clemson tonight. He looked extra motivated going against a big frontline for the Tigers. Norchad showed tonight that he is still firmly in the middle of the ACC Player of the Year race.

Second half scoring

The Canes finished with 95 points tonight, and only scored 35 by halftime. Scoring 60 points in a half against a ranked conference opponent is extremely impressive, even if you’re playing at home. Nijel Pack wasn’t the only perfect shooter in the second half. Matthew Cleveland was on fire as well. He was taking jump shots confidently, crashing the boards, and making his free-throws. In a season full of good performances, tonight was Cleveland’s best yet.

Now, Coach L needs to get his squad prepared for a tough road game at Wake Forest this Saturday. The game is at 2:15 PM EST and will be televised on the CW Network. If the Canes can take down the Demon Deacons, they should be ranked again come next Monday.